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What Are The Chances Of United Conceding Three?

Sir Alex believes United are one goal away from our second successive Champions League final. With United carrying a 1-0 lead from the first leg, the stats certainly seem to support the gaffer's theory.

If (and it's a big if as Arsenal haven't conceded yet at the Emirates in the Champions League) United score, the Gooners will have to put three past Edwin van der Sar, a tall, almost impossible order.

Let's have a look at when and how we conceded three goals this season.

Hull City, home: Yep, against the then high-flying Premiership new boys United shipped in three. However, the reason is simple: we fell asleep after securing a seemingly unassailable 4-1 lead. Eventually we held on to a 4-3 win.

Blackburn Rovers, home: The League Cup game against Rovers was disturbingly similar: having gone 4-1 up, United thought it was over and Rovers pulled two back in the dying minutes. Tevez's wonderful strike in injury time sealed the 5-3 win.

Gamba Osaka, away: A ridiculous game in the Club World Championship which we won 5-3. But once again, only late lapses brought about the flurry of goals: we conceded at 2-0 up, promptly scored three more to go 5-1 up, then cruised through the final ten minutes, barely noticing that the Japanese got another two goals for themselves.

Liverpool, home: Ah, yes, the most painful one. Having taken the lead through a Ronaldo penalty, two insane mistakes by Vidic and Evra meant Liverpool were ahead at the break. They scored two from two chances and you can't do better than that. The second half was absolute, total one-way traffic for 30 minutes but United created nothing, I'm afraid. But the point is it became a drubbing only after Vidic was sent off, minutes after Sir Alex had sent on Berbatov, Giggs and Scholes. We had, after Aurelio's free-kick (Edwin could have saved it easily had he bothered to dive for it), three defenders on the pitch and seven attack-minded players ahead of them, desperately chasing the game, leaving huge holes at the back.

That's it. Complacency (unlikely to affect United this time) or in one case a sending off (could happen) were required for anyone to score three against us. You may say that if anyone can do it, Arsenal can... but they weren't exactly in free-scoring mode before Arshavin came...

If we extend the research to the last two seasons, it's even more remarkable: during these campaigns United conceded three on only one occasion - disturbingly enough, that was in a Champions League semi-final second leg away from home: the fateful AC Milan game.

However, back then we had a smaller squad, we had had an energy-sapping comeback triumph at Everton a few days before the game, the defence was a shambles: Vidic barely returned from a month-long injury, Heinze looked half the player since his recovery from cruciate ligament injury, Rio was injured, Evra was suspended. And Milan had two away goals as a confidence boost and also had Kaka in their ranks who was in the form os his life.

So, it could happen that we concede three - but it looks very, very unlikely. That away goal would be absolutely huge.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday May 5 2009

Time: 9:45AM

Your Comments

I do think if we score, we'll go through. Encouragingly, all the results we've had at the Emirates so far (even defeats) would all take us through tonight. It's far from over yet, but if we can play as well as we did in the first leg, get a goal in the first half, and then defend as well as we did against Porto, we should be safe. Two (though not likely and will be tough) and you really can't see Arsenal getting four (without reply). First goal will be crucial - we have to be tight at the back.
Man utd champions
I do think if we score, we'll go through. Encouragingly, all the results we've had at the Emirates so far (even defeats) would all take us through tonight. It's far from over yet, but if we can play as well as we did in the first leg, get a goal in the first half, and then defend as well as we did against Porto, we should be safe. Two (though not likely and will be tough) and you really can't see Arsenal getting four (without reply). First goal will be crucial - we have to be tight at the back.
Man utd champions
I imagine we'll sit back for the first 20 mins to see what arsenals intentions are and then if they are not battering us by that point we'll look to take the game to them and get a couple in the first half. If either side conceeds early I feel the pressure will make them conceed more. I'm nervous but remaining positive. I hope we get through with rooney and evra available as a final without those two would be horrid. Lets hope we make it!
tuscan3000
I imagine we'll sit back for the first 20 mins to see what arsenals intentions are and then if they are not battering us by that point we'll look to take the game to them and get a couple in the first half. If either side conceeds early I feel the pressure will make them conceed more. I'm nervous but remaining positive. I hope we get through with rooney and evra available as a final without those two would be horrid. Lets hope we make it!
tuscan3000
I called it! I said one side would score two quickfire goals. Thank god it was us! Lets hope we keep it up for the second half.
tuscan3000
I called it! I said one side would score two quickfire goals. Thank god it was us! Lets hope we keep it up for the second half.
tuscan3000
Well done guy's Utd has been by far the better side over the two legs, hope you go on and beat Chelsky in the final again.
Armory
Well done guy's Utd has been by far the better side over the two legs, hope you go on and beat Chelsky in the final again.
Armory
Almost perfect! Apart from the sending off, everything went our way tonight. Darren Fletcher could have played a big role against barcelonas midfield. Against chelsea I think fergie would have gone with giggs anyway, but he has got to be gutted. I think the whole missing the final for yellows accumulated is ridiculous anyway. You can get dodgy yellows in the first round, and then miss the final because of one mistake in the semi. You should only miss the final if 2 of your yellows were in the semis or you get a straight red. But as for having no right to appeal, this case shows just how ridiculous that rule is!
tuscan3000
Almost perfect! Apart from the sending off, everything went our way tonight. Darren Fletcher could have played a big role against barcelonas midfield. Against chelsea I think fergie would have gone with giggs anyway, but he has got to be gutted. I think the whole missing the final for yellows accumulated is ridiculous anyway. You can get dodgy yellows in the first round, and then miss the final because of one mistake in the semi. You should only miss the final if 2 of your yellows were in the semis or you get a straight red. But as for having no right to appeal, this case shows just how ridiculous that rule is!
tuscan3000
No complaints from a gooner. The better side won by miles. Ofcourse the knives will be out for wenger and the whole argument that we dont have experience at this level. But lets face facts. ronaldo and rooney in this form our very hard to contain whether your arsenal or chelsea or liverpool. I dont think it was our inexperience that cost us, it was sheer brilliance from manchester united. Truth be told i felt worse last year when we lost to liverpool. This year i feel Manchester united by far and way deserve to win
operationmindcrime
No complaints from a gooner. The better side won by miles. Ofcourse the knives will be out for wenger and the whole argument that we dont have experience at this level. But lets face facts. ronaldo and rooney in this form our very hard to contain whether your arsenal or chelsea or liverpool. I dont think it was our inexperience that cost us, it was sheer brilliance from manchester united. Truth be told i felt worse last year when we lost to liverpool. This year i feel Manchester united by far and way deserve to win
operationmindcrime
and it has to be said now, Christiano ronaldo --- despite all the haters out there----- is the best player to play in england ever. FULL STOP. There has been none better. Sure he;s arrogant but like Ali, he can back it up with great performances in big games. Also thought fletcher was unlucky I would rather you lot win then chelski, however if barca make it to the final then i'll be supporting them
operationmindcrime
and it has to be said now, Christiano ronaldo --- despite all the haters out there----- is the best player to play in england ever. FULL STOP. There has been none better. Sure he;s arrogant but like Ali, he can back it up with great performances in big games. Also thought fletcher was unlucky I would rather you lot win then chelski, however if barca make it to the final then i'll be supporting them
operationmindcrime
tuscan3000 You are spot on, it was not a red card and only the yellows in the semis should count. Utd was better by a mile and i hope you go on to play Chelsky if not then I'm with barca because of TH.
Armory
tuscan3000 You are spot on, it was not a red card and only the yellows in the semis should count. Utd was better by a mile and i hope you go on to play Chelsky if not then I'm with barca because of TH.
Armory
Fair play, you lot were much better over twolegs and the scoreline was not at all flattering. I'm a bit gutted for Fletcher, I haven't seen it back yet but my instinct was that it was never a penalty and not a red card. Fletcher really didn't deserve to miss the final.
Little Dutch
Fair play, you lot were much better over twolegs and the scoreline was not at all flattering. I'm a bit gutted for Fletcher, I haven't seen it back yet but my instinct was that it was never a penalty and not a red card. Fletcher really didn't deserve to miss the final.
Little Dutch
Cheers for that and I do think barring injuries, you'll be a REAL threat next season! Only problem being the fact that, injuries to players are soo unpredictable!
ForeverUnited
Cheers for that and I do think barring injuries, you'll be a REAL threat next season! Only problem being the fact that, injuries to players are soo unpredictable!
ForeverUnited
Will be interesting to play against an Arsenal with Ashavin though... Look forward to seeing Arsenal bounce back next year, our battles are always fun!
Tosswink
Will be interesting to play against an Arsenal with Ashavin though... Look forward to seeing Arsenal bounce back next year, our battles are always fun!
Tosswink
 

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