yeah..it wa 8:45pm here....heng i got back about 20 minutes b4....then started preparing my dinner and watched while the chicken and herbs and potatoes were roasting away.....
almost threw up my beer KPKBing about the numerous missed chances!
Once again it is old man Giggs to the rescue!
Report: Celtic 1 United 1
A late Ryan Giggs goal clinched a point at Celtic Park and all but cemented the Reds' spot in the knockout phase of the Champions League.
Giggs pounced on 84 minutes to head in from close range after Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc parried Cristiano Ronaldo’s swerving shot. It capped a period of complete dominance – and growing frustration – as the Reds laid siege to Celtic’s goal in the second half, after going into the break 1-0 down courtesy of Scott McDonald’s early goal.
For long periods it looked like the Scots would hang on to their lead, but Giggs’ goal, his 26th in Europe, earned a point that, barring a comprehensive Aalborg win at Old Trafford, will see Sir Alex’s men through safely to the Last 16.
Despite Celtic’s commanding home record, the United boss stopped short of deploying a full-strength Red army. Instead, he opted to rest some of his troops, including Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra. John O’Shea slotted in on the left side of defence, while Carlos Tevez, operating on his own with Ryan Giggs hovering just behind, made just his second start in seven games.
At right back, 18-year-old Rafael was included from the off, with Gary Neville and Wes Brown both left in Manchester nursing minor injuries. Sir Alex also took the bold step of handing Ben Foster his European debut. Despite signing in July 2005, Foster’s Celtic Park outing was only his second appearance since arriving at OT. Foster could do little, however, when Australian striker Scott McDonald lobbed superbly over the 6ft 2in custodian in the 13th minute.
Although not entirely against the run of play, the Reds had enjoyed a bright opening spell. Tevez, desperate to impress, won the game’s first corner in the third minute. Celtic failed to clear convincingly and the ball fell to Cristiano Ronaldo, who saw his volley from 12 yards bravely blocked. Ronaldo went closer from a 10th-minute free-kick, after Barry Robson clattered into Darren Fletcher 25 yards from goal. His shot beat the Celtic wall, but kept rising and flashed over the crossbar.
McDonald’s opener then galvanised the already vocal home support, who jeered every Reds touch with deafening derision. The boos turned to ironic cheers when Rio Ferdinand spurned a golden chance to draw level on 19 minutes, the defender blazing over from close range. He then saw a header cleared off the line.
Celtic kept their pre-match promise to get in the Reds’ faces, as United’s midfielders enjoyed little time on the ball. Without the freedom to create from open play, United were forced to rely on set-pieces. A corner in first-half injury time almost provided the equaliser, but Nemanja Vidic couldn’t direct his close-range header under the crossbar. Sir Alex recognised the need for change at the break and replaced Nani with Dimitar Berbatov.
Desperate Celtic defending from Gary Caldwell prevented Ronaldo from tapping in early in the second half, before Artur Boruc saved comfortably from the no. 7 moments later. United kept probing and Berbatov’s introduction almost yielded a goal on 56 minutes. In what was almost a carbon copy of his first strike at OT a fortnight ago, Berbatov flicked a shot goalwards. This time, however, Shaun Maloney cleared off the line to preserve Celtic’s advantage.
United’s summer signing went close again after a clever ball from Rafael to the back post was headed down by John O’Shea. The Bulgarian couldn’t make decisive contact and the ball looped harmlessly into Boruc’s arms. Then an almighty scramble on 68 minutes saw Tevez, O’Shea and Fletcher denied goals.
Sensing cracks beginning to show in the Scots’ defence, Sir Alex threw on Wayne Rooney with 19 minutes to play. Ronaldo tested Boruc again from distance and the stopper was again on hand to deny the Reds an equaliser when Rooney let fly from 30 yards. But it only takes one error to turn a game and Boruc’s inability to deal with Ronaldo’s 84th-minute rocket ultimately led to United earning a point.
Manchester United: Foster; Rafael (Evra 66), Ferdinand, Vidic, O’Shea; Ronaldo, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani (Berbatov 46); Giggs, Tevez (Rooney 71)
Subs not used: Kuszczak, Anderson, Park, Evans
Celtic: Boruc; Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, Wilson; Brown, Hartley, Robson, Maloney (O’Dea 76); McDonald (Hutchinson 82), Sheridan (Donati 64)
Subs not used: Brown, Naylor, Nakamura, Caddis
Ratings: Celtic v United
ManUtd.com's Steve Bartram runs the rule over United's displays against Celtic...
Ben Foster - A European debut for the England international. Given no chance with McDonald's goal, but otherwise unflustered in a lonely evening inside United's area.
Rafael - Put under plenty of pressure in a rocky opening, but grew in stature as the game progressed. Lent plenty of attacking support before being replaced.
Rio Ferdinand - Missed a presentable early headed chance, and dedicated the majority of his evening to carrying the ball forward, given Celtic's lack of threat .
Nemanja Vidic - Will be disappointed not to have scored in consecutive games, having spurned two decent headed chances as United caused havoc at set-pieces.
John O'Shea - On his 300th United appearance, the big Irishman operated in both full-back positions and was unflustered with and without the ball.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Terrorised Celtic all evening, foiled by countless last-ditch blocks until his exocet right-footer led to Giggs' priceless equaliser.
Michael Carrick - Masterful display in the centre of the park. Denied by a couple of blocks from Celtic's desperate defence but never stopped probing.
Darren Fletcher - Linked up brilliantly with Carrick and dominated midfield. Kept the ball moving all evening as United probed non-stop for a goal.
Nani - Booked for a clumsy first-half challenge and replaced at the interval, despite turning in a number of corners with which Celtic struggled to cope.
Carlos Tevez - Busy and composed in attack, the Argentine helped keep up United's attacking tempo in the face of Celtic's heroic central defence.
Ryan Giggs - Started out in a central role where he was well shackled by Celtic's resolute defence, before scoring a vital equaliser after a central move.
Dimitar Berbatov (for Nani, 46) - Gave United more presence upfront, and had one shot cleared off the line before spurning a chance for a dramatic late winner.
Patrice Evra (for O'Shea, 66) - Thrown into the fray to beef up United's attacking options during a difficult period midway through the second half.
Wayne Rooney (for Tevez, 71) - Drew a scrambling save from Boruc with his first meaningful act, and unnerved the hosts with his presence alone.
Boss happy with a point
Sir Alex Ferguson was relieved to see his side snatch a point from Celtic - even if the Reds had enough chances to win the match comfortably.
Ryan Giggs' late header levelled matters after Scott McDonald's early opener for the hosts, but a late Dimitar Berbatov effort could have sealed United's progress to the knockout stages.
A point from two remaining matches - at Villarreal and against Aalborg at Old Trafford - will do the job, however, and Sir Alex was satisfied with just a point in Glasgow.
“You have to consider it a good result," he told a post-match press conference. "If you’re 1-0 down with only a few minutes to go you think you’re not going to get anything out of the game. Credit to the players, our second half performance was very, very good.”
Celtic were on the back foot for almost the entire game, but boss Gordon Strachan found plenty of positives in his side's spirited rearguard action.
"We were a bit fortunate," Strachan told Sky Sports. "We can be hard to beat and we're not the greatest but we're incredibly strong. We tried our best and in the end it was too much."
Giggs: We're still on course
Ryan Giggs says United are firmly on course for qualification to the last 16 despite frustration at not making the most of chances to win at Celtic Park.
United had almost 25 attempts at goal against Gordon Strachan's men, but it took until the 21st opportunity for Giggs to nod his header past Artur Boruc, who had failed to hold Cristiano Ronaldo’s swerving drive.
Dimitar Berbatov missed a golden opportunity to win it right at the death, but he turned his close-range shot wide of the goal. A chance missed, and a metaphor for the game itself, but Giggs wasn't too disheartened.
“With so little time to go and being 1-0 down we’d have settled for a draw,” admitted Ryan. “But the way we played and the tempo of our game in the second half, I think deserved a win. We came here to win, but we’ll go into the last two games knowing that we can qualify.”
The United skipper admitted the Reds weren't happy with the first-half display, but he was pleased with the attitude in the second half in trying to break down a stubborn Celtic rearguard.
“We were disappointed with our first-half performance,” Giggs told Sky Sports. “We didn’t keep the ball well enough. It came up to the front men and wasn’t sticking there. It wasn’t a really bad performance in the first half, we just knew that we could do better.
“But we came out in the second half and kept Celtic pinned back. We knew the chances would come, it was just a case of taking them. Celtic made it hard for us, they got men behind the ball. We knew that we just had to keep creating chances, whether it was from crosses, one-twos on the edge of the box, or just keeping the tempo going. That’s what we did.”
The pressure paid off when Giggs headed United level with little more than five minutes remaining. The Welshman says it is always worth anticipating the goalkeeper spilling one of Ronaldo’s rockets. “His shots are always worth following up,” Giggs added. “It moved all over the place, which is difficult for the goalkeeper to deal with and I just gambled on it. It fell to me and I headed it in.”
The Reds are top of Group E, but level on points with second-placed Villarreal, who drew 2-2 with Aalborg. United travel to Spain later this month in a match that will all but decide who goes through as group winners.
History repeated for Carrick
The last time United were at Celtic Park, a moment of inspiration gave the hosts all three points, despite the Reds completely dominating the match.
It's little surprise, then, having sampled that galling defeat just under two years ago, that Michael Carrick felt a sense of 'here we go again' on Wednesday evening.
United again dominated matters in Glasgow, perhaps even more so than in 2006, but looked set to fall foul of Scott McDonald's neat lob until Ryan Giggs' vital late leveller.
"It was a little bit like two years ago in the sense that we had a lot of chances," Carrick told reporters after the match. "When chances go begging and the match goes on longer and longer it's always in the back of your mind that you might not score.
"But we never give up. I'm disappointed really. We played well and had enough opportunities to win the game. We left it late but we deserved a point."
Next up for United is another high-profile away game, with Arsenal awaiting the Reds at the Emirates Stadium for Saturday's early kick-off, and Carrick cannot wait for another crack at winning on the Gunners' new patch.
"We don't have much time before Arsenal now and it's a massive game for us," he said. "But we'll be ready. We're playing well and we want to go there and win."
Reserves move to Moss Lane
The Reserves' home games will take place at Moss Lane for the remainder of the 2008/09 season.
The Reds have spent the last 14 months playing at the Marston's Arena in Northwich, but have now switched to the home of Altrincham FC.
The switch marks a return to Moss Lane for the Reds, who used the ground between 2002 and 2005, prior to using Hyde United's Ewen Fields.
Last week's Manchester Senior Cup defeat to Bolton took place at Moss Lane, and the Reds will next be in competitive action against Middlesbrough on 27 November.
Prices for all home games will remain at £5 for adults and £2 for concessions, while season ticket holders and One United members can gain free entry.
Ronaldo tops magazine list
United star Cristiano Ronaldo has today been named the best player in the world by football magazine FourFourTwo.
The Portugal international finished top of the magazine’s annual countdown of the top 100 footballers on the planet, beating the likes of Barcelona's Lionel Messi and previous winner Kaka of AC Milan to the coveted No.1 spot. See www.fourfourtwo.com for the full top 10.
“Ultimately Ronaldo’s personal achievements, coupled with his team’s success, secured him the No.1 spot,” said FourFourTwo editor-in-chief Hugh Sleight.
Ronaldo scored an amazing 31 goals in 31 starts as United retained the title last season, including successive ‘Goal of the Month’ winners against Portsmouth and Aston Villa.
He also netted eight times in the Champions League, including in the Moscow final, as United marched to a third European Cup victory with a penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea.
Despite missing the opening stages of this season, Ronaldo is already back up and running, with seven goals in his first 11 starts of the campaign including braces in Saturday’s thrilling 4-3 win over Hull City and last Wednesday’s 2-0 win over West Ham.
Ronaldo’s Old Trafford team-mate Rio Ferdinand has also been named in the top 10, making him the highest-ranked defender. Six other United players join Ronny and Rio in the top 100.
The 100 Best Players in the World issue of FourFourTwo is on sale today (5 November). Subscriptions are available from themagazineshop.com.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been named best player in the world by FourFourTwo. Here are his other honours from a glorious 2008 for United's no. 7...
FIFPro World Player of the Year
FIFPro World XI
PFA Player of the Year
PFA Fans’ Player of the Year
PFA Premier League Team of the Year
Football Writers' Association Player of the Year
European Golden Shoe
Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year
United Players' Player of the Year
United Goal of the Season (v Portsmouth)
Barclays Player of the Season
Barclays Golden Boot
Barclays Merit Prize
UEFA Club Player of the Year
UEFA Best Forward
Ronaldo ready for Gunners
Cristiano Ronaldo says United can take solace in the Reds' commanding second half performance against Celtic, despite not finding the goals to secure a victory.
Ronaldo's closest attempt in the first half was a rasping free kick that flew just over the bar, and six minutes from time his shot was too hot to handle for Celtic keeper Artur Boruc, who spilled the ball into Ryan Giggs' path.
The Welshman headed United level with the rebound to earn a point, which Ronaldo said United should not be ashamed of.
"We had enough chances to win but a draw is good," he told MUTV. "We now have eight points and it looks like we're through to the next round.
"Sometimes the goal doesn't come but in the second half we played fantastically and created a lot of chances. We played in their half of the pitch and played a lot better in the second half.
"We could have scored more than one. The goalkeeper made a few good saves, but sometimes it's not possible to score goals. Last week we scored four goals, tonight we scored one goal. Celtic didn't cause us any problems in the second half, so I think we deserved the point."
Ronaldo and co. now gear up for a trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime. He added: "The aim is not to lose a game. We came [to Celtic] to win three points. It wasn't possible tonight but we did get one point and now we're thinking about the next game. I think the team is playing well."
Really dunno what to say bout yesterday's performance. Good in a sense that Man Utd got so much possession and dominate at Celtic Park but on the other hand, din convert those possession into chances. 1st half rarely tested their keeper.
Think becos Rooney and Berbatov was rested from starting! If they were to play may have a different results!
i would say its really down to stout defending from celtic. putting bodies on the line. the amount of shots blocked was crazy, we just needed to wear them down and stretch them more. for that i think we lacked leadership in midfield since scholes is injured.
The defence from Celtic was really good. We had a number of chances but was either wide or saved by the keeper/defender. Berbatove could have put us ahead in the last minutes.
Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony
Papers: Foster's aim
Ben to pull out all the stops
Ben Foster nearly quit United last summer — but insists he is not ready to be the No.1 keeper. The stopper, 25, had a successful loan spell at Watford from 2005-07 but his career has been stunted by injuries. Foster, who made his Champions League debut at Celtic on Wednesday, said: “The last 18 months have been a massive frustration. I was the No.1 choice at Watford so it was brilliant for my development. You’ve only got one chance at being at United and there have been plenty of players in the past who, maybe, jumped ship too early. So I’m going to give it my all and try and force my way in.”
Neil Custis, The Sun
Ahead of the Reds' trip to the Emirates, Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to pour more misery on Arsenal by finally killing off their dying title hopes.
Gunners skipper William Gallas has called on his team-mates to fight like "soldiers" and not surrender their title challenge against United.
In other news, The Sun claims Sir Alex Ferguson will contest an FA charge for blasting referee Mike Dean.
The Daily Mail reckons United are the latest club to send scouts to watch Napoli striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, although the club's movie mogul president Aurelio de Laurentiis says he is not for sale. The Sun reckons Chelsea could boost their firepower with a January swoop for Michael Owen.
Round up by Gemma Thompson
Wayne: Emirates win is overdue
Wayne Rooney aims to fire United to a first win at the Emirates on Saturday.
Over the past two seasons the Reds have twice squandered match-winning positions at Arsenal, and Rooney is intent on avoiding a repeat.
Rooney scored on both visits so far to the Emirates, but on each occasion Arsenal mounted dramatic late comebacks. In January 2007, Thierry Henry scored a rare headed goal to give the Gunners a 2-1 win and last season William Gallas netted seconds from the final whistle to secure a point.
“We’ve thrown away some points there in the last two seasons, despite them being really good games. I think we should have maybe won at least one of them,” he said.
“We know Arsenal are a good team, they pass the ball really well. They can make it difficult for you, especially at home, so we’ll have to make sure we’re focused, we all do our jobs right and try to get the goals to win it.”
Meanwhile, Rooney is confident United’s squad is equipped to cope with the strains of competing in multiple competitions, and says he relishes the hectic fixture list. “Since I’ve been at this club the games have been Saturday - Wednesday - Saturday - Tuesday. I prefer it that way. I’d rather play twice a week than only play Saturdays.”
Read the full interview with Wayne in issue 197 of Inside United, on sale now.
Wes out, Fletcher a doubt
They should remain that way till end of season!Wes Brown will miss Saturday's trip to Arsenal and Darren Fletcher is a doubt, but Gary Neville is available after sitting out the Champions League draw at Celtic.
Brown is still struggling with an ankle injury, although he is due to resume training in the middle of next week, while Fletcher has a minor knee problem and faces a race to be fit for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.
Neville is available again after missing the midweek trip to Celtic, while Paul Scholes has started doing light running and, according to Sir Alex Ferguson, hopes to be ready to return in mid-December, possibly for the trip to Tottenham on 13 December.
Otherwise, the United boss has pencilled him in for the Reds' first game in the Club World Cup in Japan five days later. “It's good to see Paul overcome the injury itself," said the Reds boss. "He’s now back into the physical part of his rehabilitation, which is good. Paul should be available to go to Japan, or he should be involved for the Spurs game the week before we go."
The news is less clearcut for fellow midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who is currently in America meeting with renowned knee surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman in a bid to find a cure for the tendonitis problem which has dogged his United career. The 27-year-old has already visited specialists in London and Sweden, but is yet to find a solution.
“Owen is now in Colorado to see Dr Steadman, who is a very well-regarded doctor with these particular types of injuries," said Sir Alex.
"What we are tyring to do now is to get to the route of it. He’s been frustrated and patient, but we’ve never really got to the bottom of it. We really need to speed that up now, which is why we’re sending him to the best people available to try and get a general opinion of where to go from here. We’ve not had any information back so far.
“Dr Steadman is associated with skiing injuries. There are so many cases of knee injuries in that sport and he’s acquired a great knowledge of knee injuries. But this particular injury is not associated [with cases he normally deals with]. But the boy has been carrying it for too long to keep hoping that injections are going to do the trick."
As yet, it is unclear whether Hargreaves will require surgery to rectify the problem. “We don’t know if he will undergo surgery," added the boss. "There wasn’t a definite answer from the specialists in London and Sweden. We will collate all the information and try and see what the best way forward is.
“He’s in pain when he runs. Tendonitis is a problem when he gets involved in football related training, that’s when it resurfaces. He came back last season and played in a number of very important games. But now he’s out again. It’s difficult and frustrating for the lad and we want to help him."
Last edited by melvin; 7th November 2008 at 10:49 PM.