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.



Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football


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

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

Comments

0
wooooo 26 cup ties now thats alot bet they cant wait for there break.
jono_forest
02/05/2006 15:23:00
0
How typical that the only member on your site to contribute so far is a 'cockney', says it all!!!
sdandrk
03/05/2006 13:05:00
0
get lost. a gr8 team attracts a lot of fans from different places. we r the best. even the cockneys know it. >:P
swellhead43
03/05/2006 13:57:00
0
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!
sdandrk
03/05/2006 15:07:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester United Articles

Mourinho Wants Willian for United!

With Jose Mourinho set to arrive at Old Trafford we expect some big changes to be made to the squad that under-achieved last season.

Schweinsteiger on LvG and Mourinho

It hasn`t been the best of first seasons for Bastian Schweinsteiger at Old Trafford.

Mourinho Suggests United Need!

A world-class quartet.

Ronaldo and United Mentioned in Same Sentence

I guessed it wouldn`t be too long before, with the impending change at the managerial helm about to take place, the name of an old favourite might be mentioned.

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)

Is Mourinho the Right Man for Manchester United?
Suggested By: Red Boy
Yes!78%
No!7%
Time will tell!15%
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

RankNamePoints
1.TheFamousNo71
2.Cathal P Forde1