Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

Man Utd 0 Middlesbrough 0

Man Utd 0 Middlesbrough 0

MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Silvestre,Park (Ronaldo 56), O'Shea, Giggs, Evra (Richardson 56),Saha (Rossi 81), van Nistelrooy.

Subs Not Used: Howard, Vidic.

MIDDLESBROUGH: Jones, Parnaby, Riggott, Bates,Queudrue (Taylor 64), Morrison (Christie 72), Cattermole,Boateng, Rochemback, Downing, Maccarone (Parlour 80).

Subs Not Used: Wheater, Knight.

Att: 69,531

With Middlesbrough having played 26 cup ties this season, and the biggest still to come, perhaps they were seen as 'easy meat' ... just like relegated Sunderland. But for whatever reason, United couldn't get a goal - at Old Trafford - against either!

This was stark evidence of exactly what Wayne Rooney means to this club. Sir Alex has lost Rooney for only two games, not, as seems possible, an entire tournament ... like Sven-Goran Eriksson.

But, when the chips are down, you would at least expect Ruud van Nistelrooy to score from 12 yards. His missed penalty ensured United failed miserably to get the win they needed to tie up an automatic place in next season's Champions League group stage. And Sir Alex was NOT a happy man.

A victory on Sunday in Alan Curbishley's last game as Charlton boss is now required to stave off the renewed threat of Liverpool, who visit Portsmouth on the final day.

Although England manager-elect Steve McClaren can take yet more plaudits for gaining another decent result in a succession of mini-triumphs against his old club, Sir Alex left Old Trafford fuming.

Louis Saha and Van Nistelrooy, partnered together rather than going head-to-head, never looked like breaking down a youthful Boro defence until Lee Cattermole's brainstorm provided Van Nistelrooy with the spot-kick opportunity he wasted.

Without the assurance of Rooney by his side, Saha looked half the player he appeared during United's recent nine-match winning sequence. All the fluidity had gone, as had the forcefulness in his play.

In fairness, Van Nistelrooy has more reason to look sluggish, having spent so much time on the bench recently. But the Dutchman's first touch was poor and on a couple of occasions he was caught on his heels when crosses fizzed into the Boro box, notably when Matthew Bates failed to make contact with Park Ji-sung's driven ball across the six-yard area.

Park was the one man exempt from criticism, save for the fact he kept spoiling the good work his industry generated by continually letting himself down at the vital moment.

With Patrice Evra mystifyingly preferred to Cristiano Ronaldo on the left wing - and doing little to justify why - all United's attacks came down the right, with Gary Neville gamely overlapping at every opportunity.

Fabio Rochemback brought by far the best save of the opening period from Edwin van der Sar, who kept out the Brazilian's shot with an excellent low stop.

It took 10 minutes of the second half - and Ronaldo's introduction - for United to find their spark.

The Portugal winger had already sent a couple of long-range efforts dipping wide when Cattermole inexplicably stuck up both hands to prevent Ronaldo reaching a Giggs corner.

Normally so reliable from the spot, on this occasion, Van Nistelrooy's shooting boots failed him as Jones turned his effort away.

A poor result ... and in all honesty a poor game.

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

Date:Tuesday May 2 2006
Time: 10:57AM


wooooo 26 cup ties now thats alot bet they cant wait for there break.
02/05/2006 15:23:00
How typical that the only member on your site to contribute so far is a 'cockney', says it all!!!
03/05/2006 13:05:00
get lost. a gr8 team attracts a lot of fans from different places. we r the best. even the cockneys know it. >:P
03/05/2006 13:57:00
Yeah right, you WERE the best I agree, but three years and counting since you last won the league buddy, what do you call a footie fan from Manchester... a city fan!
03/05/2006 15:07:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester United Articles

Fenerbahce (h) - Your MOTM Was?

Having played on Thursday night, against Fenerbahce in the Europa League, Manchester United don`t play until Sunday afternoon this weekend.

Chelsea v United - Facts and Figures

This Sunday Jose Mourinho takes his current club to the club where he enjoyed so much success in English football.

Points Warning Over Disabled Access?

Calls for Premier League clubs to finally get their seating arrangements in order for disabled fans across the country have continued this week...

It HAS Happened Before

Was something we witnessed at Old Trafford last night unique?

Archived Vital United Articles

Vital United articles from

Site Journalists

Red Boy
Editor email
Charlie Bacchus
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Chelsea v Manchester United?
Suggested By: Red Boy
Chelsea to Win!0%
United to Win!100%
A Draw!0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Man City 8 6 1 1 19 11
2 Arsenal 8 6 1 1 19 10
3 Spurs 8 5 3 0 18 9
4 Liverpool 8 5 2 1 17 8
5 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 6
6 Everton 8 4 3 1 15 6
7 Man Utd 8 4 2 2 14 5
8 Southampton 8 3 3 2 12 3
9 Crystal Palace 8 3 2 3 11 2
10 Watford 8 3 2 3 11 0
11 AFC Bournemouth 8 3 2 3 11 0
12 WBA 8 2 4 2 10 1
13 Leicester City 8 2 2 4 8 -6
14 Burnley 8 2 1 5 7 -6
15 West Ham 8 2 1 5 7 -8
16 Hull City 8 2 1 5 7 -12
17 Middlesbrough 8 1 3 4 6 -4
18 Stoke 8 1 3 4 6 -9
19 Swansea 8 1 1 6 4 -7
20 Sunderland 8 0 2 6 2 -9
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)

Oct 23 2016 4:00PM : Chelsea (a)
Barclays Premier League
Oct 26 2016 8:00PM : Manchester City (H)
Capital One Cup
Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Burnley (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 6 2016 3:00PM : Swansea City (a)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 19 2016 12:30PM : Arsenal (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 27 2016 4:30PM : West Ham United (H)
Barclays Premier League
The Vital Football Members League