Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

United Are Getting Ever Closer

United Are Getting Ever Closer

Another game after which we can lament misplaced passes and lapses of concentration but another occasion when eventually United's quality proved enough for a triumph.

Chelsea and Liverpool did their jobs yesterday night and had United dropped points at St. James' Park they might have been encouraged to expect a Barcelonesque wobble. Considering that United's next league game is against Liverpool we couldn't really afford doubts to creep into the minds of the players.

Therefore it's fair to say that United made the worst possible start at Newcastle United tonight. Sir Alex fielded the team that's almost certain to start against Inter in a week's time (Van der Sar; O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Ronaldo; Berbatov, Rooney) but Newcastle were the better team in the early exchanges and soon grabbed the lead.

It's a shame, really, that Van der Sar's bid for more records had to end in such calamitous fashion: Gutierrez's poor cross deceived him, he failed to hold it and the stalking Lovenkrands put the ball into the empty net.

The Champions were shellshocked but quickly took the initiative and tried to take the game to Newcastle. Soon we were superior in midfield but we could not realise it in chances as final passes were invariably poor and our crossing let us down. Meanwhile, Newcastle were looking to do damage on the break at every opportunity. Fortunately, we quickly pegged them back.

And it was a wonderful attack, a one-two between Park and O'Shea, the latter playing in Rooney who turned delightfully to leave Coloccini stranded and lashed a powerful shot past Harper into the net. Brilliant and Rooney's goalscoring run continues.

The expectation among the away fans was that United would go on and swamp the opponents now the lead had been taken but it wasn't to be. The champions kept up their patient approach play and Newcastle were still full of energy, harassing our players and breaking quickly. But the visitors got closest to grab a goal as Vidic headed just over the bar from close range in the dying minutes of the half.

Vidic and Rio both found it hard to deal with the threat of Obafemi Martins and Gutierrez impressed as well but Newcastle were dealt a severe blow early into the second half as we went into the lead.

No imminent danger was noticeable when the ball got to Steve Taylor on the edge of the Newcastle box but the defender, somewhat unwisely, tried to send it back to his keeper using his chest. Park stole the ball from him and squared it to Berbatov for a simple tap-in.

Park worked hard all game and Berbatov always dropped deep to try and release Rooney and Ronaldo, the former excellent again. But it would be the untruthful to say that United were anywhere near their fluent best: Newcastle's energies were dwindling and we were in cruise control for much of the game after the second goal but could not land that decisive blow.

Taking our chances has been a problem all season and it almost came back to haunt us as Newcastle summoned all their remaining energy to give it a spirited go in the last few minutes. Carrick had to perform a last-ditch tackle on Martins whose ferocious shot, minutes later, was saved by Van der Sar. But United held on firmly to claim three points which, on the balance of play, we just about deserved.

The reigning champions are now seven points clear at the top and have a game in hand - virtually, we need to drop points in at least 4 games (and lose at least three of them, four draws won't be enough) for Liverpool and Chelsea to have any chance whatsoever. It's almost over: we're in touching distance of the trophy now.



For the very latest Premier League odds

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Zae
Date:Wednesday March 4 2009
Time: 11:19PM

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Manchester United Articles

United Linked to Serie A Midfielder

But he'll cost!

United and the Pendulum Theory

Will he, won`t he?

United Set to miss out on Midfield Target

Manchester United`s interest in the Monaco midfielder, Tiemoue Bakayoko, looks to have ended in disappointment.

2016/17 Golden Boot Battle (27/3/17)

The final international break of the Premier League 2016/17 season ticks on by and this year could see a record number of players break the 20 goal mark.

Archived Vital United Articles

Vital United articles from

Site Journalists

Red Boy
Editor email
Profile
Charlie Bacchus
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v Middlesbrough (a)?
Suggested By: Red Boy
De Gea9%
Bailly1%
Smalling0%
Jones0%
Young1%
Carrick0%
Fellaini3%
Valencia50%
Mata1%
Rashford3%
Lingard28%
Rojo3%
Martial1%
Darmian0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 28 22 3 3 69 38
2 Spurs 28 17 8 3 59 34
3 Man City 28 17 6 5 57 24
4 Liverpool 29 16 8 5 56 25
5 Man Utd 27 14 10 3 52 19
6 Arsenal 27 15 5 7 50 22
7 Everton 29 14 8 7 50 21
8 WBA 29 12 7 10 43 1
9 Stoke 29 9 9 11 36 -9
10 Southampton 27 9 6 12 33 -3
11 AFC Bournemouth 29 9 6 14 33 -12
12 West Ham 29 9 6 14 33 -12
13 Burnley 29 9 5 15 32 -11
14 Watford 28 8 7 13 31 -15
15 Leicester City 28 8 6 14 30 -14
16 Crystal Palace 28 8 4 16 28 -10
17 Swansea 29 8 3 18 27 -27
18 Hull City 29 6 6 17 24 -32
19 Middlesbrough 28 4 10 14 22 -13
20 Sunderland 28 5 5 18 20 -26
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Manchester United Results (view all)

Manchester United Fixtures (view all)

Apr 1 2017 3:00PM : West Bromwich Albion (H)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 4 2017 8:00PM : Everton (H)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 9 2017 1:30PM : Sunderland (a)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 16 2017 4:00PM : Chelsea (H)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 23 2017 2:15PM : Burnley (a)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 27 2017 8:00PM : Manchester City (a)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Aloffy1
The Vital Football Members League