Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

We Need Seven More

We Need Seven More

United are another step closer to a third successive Premier League title: we beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Riverside with a very assured performance.

It is no great secret that Middlesbrough are not one of our favourite opponents: we need to go back no further than the last two seasons when draws against Boro almost proved very costly during the run-in. And considering that Liverpool lost at the same ground we had reason to be worried.

And I was worried sick when I saw the starting line-up. Of course Fergie kept an eye on the Champions League semi-final second leg but Giggs and Scholes as central midfielders? We tried that at Craven Cottage and Fulham embarassingly dominated us in the first half, even when we had 11 men on the field.

However, we have to draw two conclusions here: Fulham are much better than Middlesbrough (no offence Boro fans but really) and United are in much better form than we were in March. Indeed, Ryan Giggs was possibly the best player of the game, along with Wayne Rooney who was just about unstoppable again.

It wasn't the prettiest of first halves though. Boro, now in horrible relegation trouble, pressed and harassed us from the off, displaying great commitment but very little creativity or cutting edge. United, meanwhile, looked dangerous with the ball but didn't really create anything. Two long shots from Rooney represented our best chances.

Indeed, Boro got closest to taking the lead when Aliadiere was played in but Foster saved his shot with his feet. Soon after Rooney played the ball up to Vidic who stayed forward after a set piece. The Serbian passed the ball towards Macheda who was blocked by Bates but it fell to Giggs who took a touch then struck it into the far corner. Brilliant goal from the Player of the Year.

We didn't pass the ball really well for the remainder of the first half but still should have added to our lead in the closing minutes: first Berbatov teed up Scholes who fired wide from a good position, then Berbatov himself could have scored but Brad Jones came racing out of his goal and cleared the ball with a last-ditch sliding tackle.

It was a little surprise for me that Macheda came out for the second half: the Italian teenager put himself about and was willing to probe the defence but nothing he tried has come off and he picked up a needless booking. Still, Fergie kept the faith with him and he was almost rewarded with a goal: the tireless Rooney burst into the box from the left, skipped past McMahon and pulled the ball back from Macheda who fired inches wide from the edge of the six-yard box.

You had to feel a goal was coming and the magnificent away support seemed to sense it, too: the travelling fans upped the volume even further while United upped the tempo even higher and soon we had our goal. A brilliant passing move, involving Macheda and Giggs finished with Rooney sending a lovely ball into Park's path and the Korean fired home from the edge of the area. Sweet strike, game over.

United fans get a lot of stick for being quiet at games but the truth is that our away support is possibly the best in the country. Old Trafford is a different thing, I admit but the atmosphere against Arsenal could not be faulted. Today the lads picked up where they left off and the vocal backing was fantastic throughout. After the second goal it turned into celebratory mood - and the players were beginning to enjoy themselves on the pitch as well.

Boro did not give up but they could not even test Ben Foster and if Jonny Evans will be needed against Arsenal, this was a very good warm-up for the youngster. The hosts looked deflated while United stroked the ball around splendidly. We could have boosted our goal difference but Tevez (on for Macheda after 55 minutes), Rooney and co. missed everything.

Eventually, what should have been a very difficult game against a team struggling for their lives became a routine victory - and routine victories are just about the best things when you aim to wrap up a title with a Champions League semi-final coming up.

By the way, the entire midfield that will surely play against Arsenal (Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson) was rested, as was Cristiano Ronaldo and Edwin van der Sar. Rooney doesn't look like needing a rest, indeed, it might have simply unsettled him a little. He's got momentum, he's got the bit between his teeth and it looks like United have it, too.

Seven more points. That's what we need to clinch the title. Man City home, Wigan away, Arsenal home, Hull away. Not the easiest of fixtures but neither can it be called a hellish run-in. Two wins, one draw and a defeat, that's all we need. Surely we can do that?

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.

For the very latest Premier League odds

For massive weekly jackpots - Play the Football Pools Online

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

Date:Saturday May 2 2009
Time: 4:14PM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Haye’s Blast


yes, we can!
02/05/2009 18:41:00
yes, we can!
02/05/2009 18:41:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester United Articles

Rashord Set For England Debut

This coming Friday evening England play the second warm-up fixture in their preparations for the Euro 2016 Finals, in France.

AUDIO: Begovic: United a force under Mourinho

The anticipation levels are rising at the prospect of Jose Mourinho becoming the new manager of Manchester United.

De Gea Set for United Stay (Now)

One source, this morning, is suggesting that the axing of Louis van Gaal could be very beneficial when it comes to David de Gea remaining at Old Trafford.

Duo Set for United Return?

With the arrival of Jose Mourinho said to be imminent, it`ll be interesting to see who the Special One brings to Old Trafford as his assistants.

Archived Vital United Articles

Vital United articles from

Site Journalists

Red Boy
Editor email
Charlie Bacchus
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Were United Right to Sack Louis van Gaal?
Suggested By: Red Boy
Time Will Tell!9%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Manchester United Results (view all)

Manchester United Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

2.Cathal P Forde1