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Nani Does A Ronaldo And Harms The Team And Himself

United drew 1-1 at Villa Park yesterday night with a composed, controlled performance that could have brought a win. However, we could not have a proper go at Villa because of our numerical disadvantage: Luis Nani was sent off after 29 minutes for a dangerous, two-footed challenge.

It was a deserved red and it actually had some beneficial effect on the United troops: the focus and discipline shown after the sending off simply wasn't there in the first half hour. In this sense, Nani's red might have been beneficial but it's difficult to imagine Fergie not sorting out the first half's problems in a bid to get all three points with 11 men on the pitch.

But Nani's stupidity prevented United from exerting sustained pressure in attack and though we were dominant in the second half we created little though still Brad Friedel was the home side's best player. Carrick and Fletcher were brilliant for United and while Rooney worked hard, he was short on inspiration and his passing was suspect.

Valencia injected energy in place of the sluggish Paul Scholes for the second 45 minutes and he was our main attacking outlet which must have left Nani worried: it could easily mean that the Portuguese, facing a three-game domestic ban, will be left out of the starting line-up at the San Siro next week.

What he did yesterday was actually another attempt to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo because unfortunately, our previous number seven also had a tendency to get himself sent off at important times with the stupidest offences imaginable. His second yellow for handball at City when he could have buried a header in the net; his sending off at Portsmouth for headbutt in 2007; his red card at City in the 2006 derby (though that one was unjustified).

But at least Nani was committed enough to make the challenge though at that point, at the halfway line, it would have been better if he had chickened out - it would have left us with 11 men. Nani harmed the team's chances and his own chances to continue his resurrection and I guess he hasn't had the easiest of nights...

But there are plenty of positives from last night: Chelsea lost, there's only one game left from Rio's ban, Carrick and Fletcher are in fine form, Valencia is still reliable, Rafael is improving all the time defensively. With 12 games to go, we have a realistic chance of making it four league titles in a row. And that is more than what most of us expected at the start of the season.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 11 2010

Time: 8:48AM

Your Comments

It is bizarre to suggest that Nani wanted to emulate Ronaldo by getting himself sent off. Yes, it was a rash and stupid tackle. For what it's worth he got the ball but that does not excuse the idiocy of the challenge. United started slowly and in fact the only time Nani had the ball and crossed- we scored. having said that United showed great composure with 10 men and Villa simply didnt know what to do. They were lacking in creativity and looked uncomfortable with their one man advantage. Nani did a daft thing, he showed a lack of composure and he will now have to work hard again to compete with Valencia for a starting berth, but don't make it out to be something it isnt. He is young, has made a silly error and has let himself and his team mates down - but its nothing to do with emulating Ronaldo.
king7cantona
It was a red card but is every challenge like that in the Premier League punished with a red card? No. Cut the guy some slack we were 2 points behind chelski now its one, the league is more in our hands than it is chelski.
NotoriousRedDevil
Shame to hear Giggs had broken his arm during the game. He's one of the few gentlemen left in the game, unlike the usual thugs, cheats, confrontationalists and divers in your team. Why do things like that happen to guys who don't deserve it???
bseymour
we shal see NRD at the end,thts all I will say for now
kishaloy_nag_blue
I was hoping you would say more since you're pretty mouthy down that end but I suppose with Terrygate and all thats all you can say for now cos you know I'm right.
NotoriousRedDevil
 

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