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Thread: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

  1. #21
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Boss relief at late Reds win

    Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his relief at Nemanja Vidic’s injury-time strike in the 1-0 win over Sunderland.

    The Reds boss praised Sunderland’s stubborn resistance as his United side threw absolutely everything at the Premier League strugglers, but he said there was only ever going to be one winner in the match.

    “I’m relieved,” the United boss told MUTV. “It was so late in the game, but we got the break because we took a gamble. We deserved to win the match because we were the team that wanted to win.”

    With the game fast looking like the Reds would not find a way through, United pushed everyone forward, and seconds into four minutes of added time the breakthrough finally arrived.

    “We decided to leave Nemanja Vidic up the pitch and leave Rio [Ferdinand] one on one with Kenwyne Jones,” explained Sir Alex. “We felt that there was no threat from that side of the game. We were in complete control.”

    Sunderland had no ambition to attack, and often had all eleven players behind the ball. It was a frustrating tactic that stifled the game as a spectacle, but Sir Alex doesn’t blame caretaker boss Ricky Sbragia coming to Old Trafford to defend.

    “I can understand Sunderland, in their desperation down near the bottom of the league, coming here to defend. To get a point would have been a great for them. They made it difficult.

    "We had chances, but the goalkeeper made good saves in the first half. Then in the second half we had some outstanding chances, we should maybe have done better with them. It was hard work, and it's difficult playing against a team that is as defensive as Sunderland were. It’s difficult to break down.”

  2. #22
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Rooney suspended for Spurs

    Wayne Rooney will miss United’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday 13 December after picking up his fifth domestic booking of the season against Sunderland.

    The England striker went into referee Mark Halsey’s book for a trip on Teemu Tanio, so will now join Patrice Evra on the sidelines at White Hart Lane. Rooney had previously been shown yellow cards against Newcastle United, Chelsea, Everton and Hull City.

    Evra amassed his fifth booking this season during last Sunday's match against Manchester City but was free to play against Sunderland as bans for accumulating cards only come into effect seven days after the final caution.

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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Reds face Rams in semis

    United must beat Derby County over two legs in order to reach the Carling Cup final.

    The semi-final draw, made at 12:20 GMT on Saturday, pitted the Reds away from home in the first match, which will be played in the week commencing 5 January. The second leg will be played in the week commencing 19 January.

    In the other semi-final, Burnley will travel to White Hart Lane first to take on Carling Cup holders Tottenham Hotspur.

    United have reached the semi-final stage of the competition 10 times before, progressing to the final on six occasions.

    The Reds have met Derby Country just twice in the League Cup, back in 1969 in the fifth round. The sides drew 0-0 at The Baseball Ground before a Brian Kidd goal settled the replay at Old Trafford seven days later.

    Paul Jewell's Derby side have reached the semi-final stage by beating Lincoln City, Preston North End, Brighton & Hove Albion, Leeds United and Stoke CIty so far this season.

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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Club responds to Evra ban

    United issued the following statement on Friday evening, after the FA announced a four-match suspension and £15,000 fine for Patrice Evra.

    "Manchester United notes the announcement from the FA and is disappointed with the decision and in particular considers the sanctions against Patrice Evra excessive.

    "Manchester United and Patrice will consider all options once there has been an opportunity to digest the full reasons for the decision. There will be no further comment."

    The FA found Patrice guilty of improper conduct during a warm-down session at Stamford Bridge on 26 April 2008, following United's Premier League match against Chelsea.

    His suspension from four first-team matches is due to start on Monday 22 December.

    Chelsea have also been charged by the FA for failing "to ensure that employee Mr Bethell (groundsman) conducted himself in an orderly fashion and refrained from abusive and provocative conduct and language." Chelsea have been fined £25,000 for this offence.

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    Senior Member afbug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Wah sweats man! Dominate and attack like siao and luckly, managed a goal in 90th min. Could have and should have been at least 3 nil.

  6. #26
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Papers: Four at a time

    Ferguson is done four
    Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has spent hours in his office at the Carrington training ground scribbling on slips of paper. He wants to find a way of getting Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez in the same team without risking the defensive side of the team. Ferguson said: “I would like to be able to do it but I’m not sure if we can. Each player is certainly flexible enough to play in different roles. I have been doodling on my notepad trying to work out how I can fit in all these players.”
    Ferguson added: “It is perhaps something we could do more late in games if we are chasing goals than from the start. It is certainly a great option to have with the potential they all have for goals.”
    Neil Custis, The Sun

    The Daily Express report Sir Alex as saying Arsenal may hold the key to a third title win on the bounce for the Reds. The Gunners beat Chelsea 2-1 recently and now Sir Alex is backing Arsene Wenger's side to go out and do the same against Liverpool. "This could be the tightest race in years," Ferguson says. "What we want now is for Arsenal to beat Liverpool." The teams meet on Sunday 21 December.

    Meanwhile, The Daily Mail claim the biggest hint yet that Carlos Tevez is going nowhere came on Monday when the Reds striker took part in filming for a new United advertisement. "Despite Tevez's frustration with his contractual situation and interest from Real Madrid, the club would not commit a player to a TV commercial if he wasn't expected to be staying," the paper reasoned.

    Round up by Nick Coppack

    Rooney can play behind Ronaldo on the left, Berbatov in the center and Tevez on the right the 1 in the 4-2-1-3 formation lor....

  7. #27
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Neville frustrated

    Gary Neville is frustrated that he has not been able to stay fit enough, long enough to reclaim the right-back slot he has called his own for a decade.

    The 33-year-old, who could get a run-out against Aalborg on Wednesday, has endured a torrid 20 months since injuring ankle ligaments against Bolton Wanderers back in March 2007.

    The initial injury sidelined him for months, then further niggles and knocks kept him out of the 2007/08 Double-winning campaign.

    Chances haven’t been forthcoming this season either and, although he praises Rafael’s “fantastic form” standing in for him and Wes Brown, who is also sidelined, Neville cannot hide his frustration at his current predicament.

    “To be honest, I’ve not been able to stay fit enough, long enough, or produce consistently good enough performances to stay in the team, simple as that,” he told MUTV.

    “You’ve got to be realistic and honest with yourself. The first thing you’ve got to do is stay fit. If you do that over a long period of time, you get the opportunity to get your level of performance to something that is acceptable for this club.”

    Neville started in the centre of defence during United’s Carling Cup semi-final victory over Blackburn Rovers last week, but it was only of only a handful of outings this term.

    “I’ve had a few injuries over the last few months, which has meant I’ve missed a few weeks at a time. So it’s difficult to get to the standard of performance that’s required here.

    "Hopefully now I can stay clear of injuries and get back to a consistent level that is required by this club, and me.

    “As I sit here now, I’m fit. I was fit for the game last week. But, am I fit to the level you expect or the level I want to be at? No. I’ve only played one or two games since I’ve come back.

    "I want to get to seven, eight, nine or ten games over a longer period. That’s got to be the aim for me.”

  8. #28
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    The game of our lives - Risgard

    Aalborg midfielder Kasper Risgard intends to enjoy every minute of his side's Old Trafford experience on Wednesday in what he describes as "the biggest game of my career".

    Aalborg can enjoy the trip as well, knowing that the result does not matter as they have already secured entry into the UEFA Cup by finishing in third spot.

    "We're all looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Risgard tells United Review.

    "It’s the biggest game of my career and I’m sure the same goes for the other players. It’s really funny to play against the big stars because I’d only ever seen Manchester United play on television in the past."

    The Reds comfortably beat Aalborg 3-0 back in September, but the Danes have since rallied in Group E. They took a point from two games with Villarreal - scoring five goals in the process - and beat Celtic in Glasgow to clinch third place.

    So the visit to Old Trafford is something of a treat for Risgard, who says playing in front of 70,000 fans will be some experience compared to the 10,000 supporters they attract for home Champions League games.

    "It’s going to be a difficult game," he admits, "so all we can do is try to enjoy it. We’ve never played in front of so many fans and at such a legendary stadium, but we go there without any pressure. It’ll be great to look back one day and say we played in this game."

  9. #29
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Aalborg: Ones to watch

    ManUtd.com takes a look at the dangermen for Wednesday night’s OT visitors…

    STAR MAN
    2 Michael Jakobsen DEFENDER
    Age 22 Nationality Danish Appearances 156 Goals 13
    Victory over Celtic in their last Champions League game secured a place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup. But the groundwork had already been done at Celtic Park on matchday one when Jakobsen, alongside Michael Beauchamp, stood rock-solid despite the intimidating environment. “I've never experienced a crowd like it,” he said. “I couldn't hear anything, it was so noisy!” Clearly the atmosphere got to the referee: he dismissed Beauchamp rather than Jakobsen for a professional foul on Georgios Samaras. A retrospective red card was (metaphorically) brandished, however, ruling Jakobsen out for United’s visit to Aalborg; doubtless, then, he’ll relish a crack at the Reds.

    1 Karim Zaza GOALKEEPER
    Age 33 Nationality Danish/Moroccan Appearances 54 Goals 0
    After making his name at Odense, Zaza (originally a striker before picking up the gloves) has pocketed a trio of Danish Goalkeeper of the Year awards. The latter came after returning to his very first club, Brondby, but he was then deposed by rising star Casper Ankergren. After impressing in the 2nd Bundesliga with Rot-Weiss Essen, he’s making a decent fist of filling the boots, and gloves, of Aalborg legend Jimmy Nielsen.

    23 Thomas Enevoldsen MIDFIELDER
    Age 21 Nationality Danish Appearances 86 Goals 9
    Last November at White Hart Lane, less than two minutes into Aalborg’s UEFA Cup clash with Spurs, Enevoldsen smashed the ball into the top corner (though the Londoners had the last laugh, with a second-half revival sparked by Dimitar Berbatov). And his sights are set on more goals – against United and in the UEFA Cup. “We have belief in ourselves to score against whoever we play,” he said. “The good results against Celtic and Villarreal have given us confidence."

    18 Caca MIDFIELDER
    Age 26 Nationality Brazilian Appearances 67 Goals 15
    You’d expect a Brazilian to have a few tricks in his locker, and the audacious backheel that released Jeppe Curth to level matters against Villarreal a month ago ticked all the boxes. The midfielder (whose older brother Dede plays for Borussia Dortmund) was also instrumental in shattering Celtic’s European dream: his deflected shot sparked a turnaround on matchday five and edged the Bhoys off the European scene.

    10 Marek Saganowski FORWARD
    Age 30 Nationality Polish Appearances 22 Goals 4
    An international striker with a touch of wanderlust (Denmark is the seventh he’s plied his trade), Saganowski is no stranger to English football. His previous port of call was Southampton, for whom he joined permanently in summer 2007 after a free-scoring five-month loan at St Mary’s. Last season, however, he failed to shine in front of goal – though he did make Poland’s squad at Euro 2008.

  10. #30
    Senior Member afbug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin View Post
    Neville frustrated

    No disrespect to him but I really think he CMI already. He was responsible for 1 of the goals that Blackburn scored in the league cup. He is simply too slow. He really lost quite a bit of speed since his long term injury. Quite stunning really.

    Man Utd will rest players in the final CL game against Alborg. So it will prob be 'league cup' line up.

  11. #31
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Quote Originally Posted by afbug View Post
    No disrespect to him but I really think he CMI already. He was responsible for 1 of the goals that Blackburn scored in the league cup. He is simply too slow. He really lost quite a bit of speed since his long term injury. Quite stunning really.

    Man Utd will rest players in the final CL game against Alborg. So it will prob be 'league cup' line up.
    Most likely as return match as return to EPL will be at White Hart Lane!

    Gary is long CMI le... think he should turn player coach anyway he got his coaching cert liao!

  12. #32
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Ronaldo doubt, Carrick out

    The Reds could be without Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Carrick as United chase top spot in Group E when Aalborg visit Old Trafford on Wednesday.

    Despite training with the rest of the first-team on Tuesday morning at Carrington, Ronaldo is still feeling the hip injury he sustained against Sunderland and may not be risked with an important game against Tottenham Hotspur looming. Carrick, meanwhile, has been ruled out of Wednesday's match altogether with a thigh strain.

    “Cristiano is doubtful and Michael is out,” the boss said at his pre-match press conference. “Those are the only injury problems we have. Michael should be ready for Saturday, but we’ll have to see how Cristiano is.”

    The good news is that Paul Scholes is now fit enough to start, but Sir Alex plans to use the 34-year-old midfielder from the bench as he continues to ease his vintage midfielder back after knee surgery in September.

    Club captain Gary Neville, who has been on the sidelines this season, is set for another start, most likely at right-back at the expense of 18-year-old Brazilian defender Rafael.

  13. #33
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Evra ban shocks Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Ferguson has described the Football Association's decision to ban Partrice Evra for four matches as one of the biggest shocks of his career.

    The French defender was punished last week for his part in a post-match skirmish with Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell last May.

    "It was a shock, I must admit," Sir Alex told a press conference ahead of tomorrow night's Champions League clash with Aalborg. "Of all the things the FA have done to this club over the years, this is one of the big shocks. I couldn’t believe it.

    "You can never guess what these people are doing. I couldn’t tell you. I wouldn’t know if I was sitting at the breakfast table with them, what they were thinking."

    United's next step is as yet unclear, but Sir Alex is awaiting written confirmation from the FA so that he can decide whether or not to appeal the verdict.

    "We’re awaiting the written reasons to be delivered to David Gill," he said "So we can’t really comment what our next step is going to be. But we’re waiting on that coming."

    Lucky we got enough to cover!

  14. #34
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Aalborg's biggest game

    Aalborg midfielder Kasper Risgard intends to enjoy every minute of his side's Old Trafford experience on Wednesday in what he describes as "the biggest game of my career".

    Aalborg can enjoy the trip as well, knowing that the result does not matter as they have already secured entry into the UEFA Cup by finishing in third spot.

    "We're all looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Risgard tells United Review.

    "It’s the biggest game of my career and I’m sure the same goes for the other players. It’s really funny to play against the big stars because I’d only ever seen Manchester United play on television in the past."

    The Reds comfortably beat Aalborg 3-0 back in September, but the Danes have since rallied in Group E. They took a point from two games with Villarreal - scoring five goals in the process - and beat Celtic in Glasgow to clinch third place.

    So the visit to Old Trafford is something of a treat for Risgard, who says playing in front of 70,000 fans will be some experience compared to the 10,000 supporters they attract for home Champions League games.

    "It’s going to be a difficult game," he admits, "so all we can do is try to enjoy it. We’ve never played in front of so many fans and at such a legendary stadium, but we go there without any pressure. It’ll be great to look back one day and say we played in this game."

  15. #35
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Neville fights on

    Gary Neville is frustrated that he has not been able to stay fit enough, long enough to reclaim the right-back slot he has called his own for a decade.

    The 33-year-old, who could get a run-out against Aalborg on Wednesday, has endured a torrid 20 months since injuring ankle ligaments against Bolton Wanderers back in March 2007.

    The initial injury sidelined him for months, then further niggles and knocks kept him out of the 2007/08 Double-winning campaign.

    Chances haven’t been forthcoming this season either and, although he praises Rafael’s “fantastic form” standing in for him and Wes Brown, who is also sidelined, Neville cannot hide his frustration at his current predicament.

    “To be honest, I’ve not been able to stay fit enough, long enough, or produce consistently good enough performances to stay in the team, simple as that,” he told MUTV.

    “You’ve got to be realistic and honest with yourself. The first thing you’ve got to do is stay fit. If you do that over a long period of time, you get the opportunity to get your level of performance to something that is acceptable for this club.”

    Neville started in the centre of defence during United’s Carling Cup semi-final victory over Blackburn Rovers last week, but it was only of only a handful of outings this term.

    “I’ve had a few injuries over the last few months, which has meant I’ve missed a few weeks at a time. So it’s difficult to get to the standard of performance that’s required here.

    "Hopefully now I can stay clear of injuries and get back to a consistent level that is required by this club, and me.

    “As I sit here now, I’m fit. I was fit for the game last week. But, am I fit to the level you expect or the level I want to be at? No. I’ve only played one or two games since I’ve come back.

    "I want to get to seven, eight, nine or ten games over a longer period. That’s got to be the aim for me.”

  16. #36
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    February fixture changes

    United's fixture list for early 2009 has been amended again today following the selection of two games for live TV coverage.

    Close on the heels of Fulham and Wigan being rearranged, there's a new date for West Ham away and a new kick-off time for Blackburn at home.

    West Ham v United, originally Saturday 7 February will now be played on Sunday 8 February at 16:00 GMT. The match will be shown live on Sky.

    United v Blackburn will still be played on Saturday 21 February but it kicks off at 17:30 GMT for broadcast by Setanta.

    The previous fixture news tidied up two postponements caused by this month's Club World Cup in Japan and last August's excursion to Monaco for the Super Cup. Wigan come to Old Trafford on Wednesday 14 January and Fulham follow on Tuesday 17 February.

    So while the Christmas Day league table will show two games in hand for United, these games will have been played by mid-February, making the state of the title race much clearer.


    Dates for your diary
    December
    Sat 13 - Tottenham (A) 17:30
    Thu 18 - Club World Cup SF 10:30
    Sun 21 - Club World Cup Final 10:30 or 3rd/4th place play-off 07:30
    Thu 26 - Stoke City (A) 12:45
    Mon 29 - Middlesbro' (H) 20:00

    January
    Sun 04 - Southampton (A) 16:00 FA Cup
    Wed 07 - Derby (A) 19:45 Carling Cup SF
    Sun 11 - Chelsea (H) 16:00
    Wed 14 - Wigan (H) 20:00
    Tue 20 - Derby (H) 20:00 Carling Cup SF
    Tue 27 - West Brom (A) 19:45

    February
    Mon 02 - Everton (H) 20:00
    Sun 08 - West Ham (A) 16:00
    Tue 17 - Fulham (H) 20:00
    Sat 21 - Blackburn (H) 17:30
    Sat 28 - Portsmouth (H) 15:00

  17. #37
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Strong squad for Japan

    Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed a full-strength, 23-man squad that will travel to Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup next week.

    The Reds depart for Tokyo on Sunday, the day after the Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

    United boss Sir Alex had hinted that he might leave some players behind to cope with the Stoke City fixture on Boxing Day, just three days after the Reds return from the Japanese capital. But the manager's squad selection is a statement of intent - United want to win this competition and take world football's crown to go with the European title.

    United enter the competition at the semi-final stage in Yokohama on Thursday 18 December (KO 10:30 CET) against one of Adelaide United (Australia), Waitakere United (New Zealand), or Gamba Osaka (Japan).

    In the other half of the draw, Egyptian giants Al-Ahly fight it out with Mexicans Pachuca for the right to play LDU Quito of Ecuador in the other semi-final. The final is on Sunday 21 December (KO 10:30 CET) at the Yokahama Stadium.

    Travelling squad:
    Goalkeepers: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Foster; Defenders: Neville, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Evans, Rafael; Midfielders: Ronaldo, Anderson, Giggs, Park, Carrick, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Gibson; Strikers: Berbatov, Rooney, Tevez, Welbeck.

  18. #38
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    United vs Aalborg Thurs 3.45am! @ OT

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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin View Post
    United vs Aalborg Thurs 3.45am! @ OT
    Anybody watching the game? Man Utd already qualified for the knockout stage and this game has little significance except deciding whether we will top our group. Then again, maybe it will make some difference in deciding whom we will meet in the next round. Sorry, will give this game a miss. Sleep is more important.

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    Default Re: Manchester United IX - Quest for Treble Glory Continues....

    Actually this game is only of importance to Man Utd as it will decide who will top the group. But then again, even if Man Utd top the group, might face teams like BM and RM as they are runners up. Alborg got nothing to play as they already qualified for UEFA Cup. Its a holiday for them and I think Fergie will field the reserve team.

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