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United 2 Chelsea 1

Old Trafford, this afternoon, witnessed United just about wrap up the Premier League title with a 2-1 win over our nearest rivals, Chelsea.

Mathematically, United need a point form their last two games to make certain but surely we`ll not let this slip away.

For this important fixture, Sir Alex Ferguson, as expected, selected his big-guns after resting several of them in midweek when Schalke were the visitors. One notable absentee was Patrice Evra who picked up a late knock and was replaced by John O`Shea.

Team - Van der Sar, Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, O`Shea, Park, Giggs, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez

Subs - Kuszczak, Smalling, Evans, Anderson, Nani, Scholes, Berbatov

United got the action started and inside thirty-six seconds were ahead. Some hesitancy in the Chelsea midfield saw Giggs and Park combine to slip Hernandez through and the Mexican, one-on-one, with Cech, made no mistake in scoring his 20th goal of the season. Old Trafford erupted in a sea of noise.

United 1 Chelsea 0 (Hernandez - 01 minutes)

United were playing some decent stuff and Rooney forced the excellent Cech into making a fine one handed save with a fierce low drive. Hernandez, lurking at the far post, almost scored a second but the slightest touch, by Luiz, from the Valencia cross disrupted the flight of the ball.

Chelsea, non-existent attacking wise, took nineteen minute sot get a chance on target with Kalou having a shot saved. Cech pulled off another smart save to deny Park but from the resulting corner, after the ball had been worked to Giggs, Vidic was on hand to head home the second goal of the game.

United 2 Chelsea 0 (Vidic - 23 minutes)

The defending Champions were up against it now but didn`t fade away. Two free kicks from Drogba kept Van der Sar on his toes. Both from thirty yards out saw Van der Sar relieved that he could parry the first away and even more relieved that the second went wide of the post with the Dutchman stranded.

After having already been booked, the home crowd bayed for Ivanovic to be shown the red card as the game threatened to boil over just before half time but Howard Webb was having nothing of it.

Half Time - United 2 Chelsea 0

Evan replaced O`Shea at half time with the visitors opting to replace Luiz and Mikel with Alex and Ramires.

A stale passage of play could have been livened up when Lampard clearly handled a Valencia cross whilst Kalou, seeking a penalty after contact with Vidic, may well have thought he had a valid claim turned down by Webb.

Struggling to make an impact in the final third, Chelsea introduced Torres for Kalou and although Torres played no part in the build up, the visitors were back in the game eight minutes later after Lampard scored from close range.

United 2 Chelsea 1 (Lampard - 61 minutes)

Despite being pegged back, United were looking lively going forward and Rooney, on another day, could have had a hat-trick. One effort was brilliantly blocked, on the line, by Alex whilst another effort bound for the net was deflected over the bar.

As time began to run out for Chelsea, Hernandez could have added the final touch to a great day but his header, from a Valencia cross, sailed over the bar.

Blackburn, and a record 19th title, here we come.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 8 2011

Time: 6:55PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
congrats on your title - we'll do our best to get it back next season though!
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08/05/2011 19:27:00

I hope not merlin :P
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08/05/2011 19:42:00

Congrats on your deserved title...Ve'll be back!
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08/05/2011 19:52:00

Congratulations...Not gonna sit here and say you were great this season because you wasn't no team has been though. But well done.
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08/05/2011 20:02:00

Congratulations on the title from a Liverpool fan. We'll try to get our record back next season, sounds familiar I know. :)
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09/05/2011 03:53:00

john doe, merlin, blue banes, top notch!!!
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09/05/2011 08:56:00

Glory Glory Man United.
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09/05/2011 10:58:00

Guys, what do you think of this average squad tag that follows our team? I personally think people are being a tad blinkered with that comment, granted this is not our best side we've had over the years but that doesn't make it average. Starting XI wise I think there's very few better than us with only the centre of the park being the area that screams mediocrity in comparison to our local and title rivals.
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09/05/2011 16:40:00

Lets look at the defense. We've got the ageless Van Der Sar who has been the best keeper in the league this season and very few world wide have been better. We boast 2 great prospects and already great fullbacks in Rafael and Fabio and arguably the best LB in the world in Evra. We have 2 of the finest CB's out there, one being the best CB in the world, in Vidic and Ferdinand. Heck, even Smalling and Evans are very good CB's for their age, Smalling definately so. Then what we have as cover is very good as far as cover goes with O'Shea and Brown, 2 players any manager would be delighted to have, they come into the squad and no matter what situation they're thrown into they cope well, never off the pace, they also love playing for the team and that attitude reflects there servitude towards the club despite their lack of first-team chances.
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09/05/2011 16:43:00

Out wide we really do have an abundace of talent. Nani and Valencia are not only two of the finest, perhaps best, wingers in the league but also in the world. Giggs, well, his history tells you everything you need to know about him, pure. More recently he has been played through the centre of the park and appears to be that CAM who creates space for others and picks passes out with ease. Park is a managers dream, he's ridiculously hard to mark because of his work rate, energy levels and roaming all over the pitch. He's very underrated, often at the oppositions expense, he might not be technically there but you can rely on him to pop up with a far post head, or a bit of magic in the box with his dummy shots and clever passes. Obertan and Bebe have bundles of potential and are very raw at the moment, it would harsh to pass them off as flops (perhaps if Fergie sells them then fair dues) but at current, looking at the positives, they can come into the team and be, quite simply, class acts glowing with quality. I remember at one point wondering why Nani was playing and Obertan was not. If worse comes to worse and they're all some how injured we've got Fletcher and his very good crosses who can play wide right and Rooney who can play wide left, not quite to the effect as the natural wingers but more than sufficient quality to beat decent opposition. Fabio & Rafael can also play out wide, look at the FA Cup Arsenal performance, it says it all really.
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09/05/2011 16:54:00

Up top we have Hernandez, natural goalscorer and nightmare for defenders. His movement creates space for others to work in, he has the pace to beat any defender and the clinicality, head or foot (or back of head), to make the opposition pay. Berby has really stepped up his game this season, his work rate has improved and he has sought the rewards for it, top goal scorer in the league without even playing particularly much in comparison to other near-by top scorers. He can play a ball, knock the ball on, see a pass and create great play as well as scoring, perhaps the only striker in our squad who can provide an aerial threat also. Rooney for someone who is considered to have a poor season has done incredibly well, a real asset to the side. Another who has a great vision and range of passing and knows where the net is and these features are just a taste of what Rooney has in his armoury. Owen is an experienced poacher, cool as you like in front of goal and good movement, as far as cover goes he's excellent. Then there's the loanees, Welbeck, Macheda and Diouf. Diouf might not be great at finding the net but his physical presence and ability in the air does seem to go unnoticed, he really does add another dimension to our squad. He will however, have to accept being a squad player though. Welbeck is a great prospect and has done incredibly well at Sunderland and a cap in the national set-up speaks of the leaps and bounds he has come, he's still not the complete package but will be a great asset in the future i'm sure. Macheda, for his age, has shown real quality and also has bundles of potential he's another who's physical presence is felt by defenders with his strength and height, many forget he's only 19!
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09/05/2011 17:07:00

Then we have the Central Midfield. Carrick having regained some pre-Barca form is still only a decent CM, he has a great range of passing, he can read play and intercept the ball as well as providing some height to the side. Fletcher is severly underrated, easily one of the finest box-to-box mids in the league, he can tackle, cross, head and pass as well as run around non-stop for hours on end. Anderson is looking to finally step up, his passing is looking very good, as is his crossing from the left, his positioning and also has a great work rate with a lot of industry, he's not bad at creating space either. He's not the best defensively but enough to apply pressure and force mistakes he also hasn't really got much range in his shots. Scholes is quite simply one of the greatest footballers ever, he can play a pass onto a pin through a needle eye, he can hit a shot from a distance and pressure the opponent, his tackling however... well, we best not go there. Gibson is average and a squad player at most but people forget he's only 23. He has games where he shows great potential but then there's games where he's either A) a liability or B) a passenger, on his day he can make a tackle, play a ball and spank one from 30 yards as well as appear tireless. Hargo when available is one of the best DM's out there, he's sorely missed and it can really show with our defensive game. Then there's Rooney and Giggs. Rooney can play that creative, space creating, ball playing, goal scoring attacking mid and when done so, we tend to not only win but annihilate our opposition. Giggs when played in the centre of the park seems to have the same effect as Rooney, he's brilliant at creating space, seeing and playing passes, chipped in with a couple from there as well and could've had more in fairneess.
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09/05/2011 17:20:00

This is without even mentioning some of the youth and reserve squad and I also forgot Cleverley (though I've expressed my thoughts on him enough that almost everyone knows :P). I haven't even talked about the collective squad morale, unity, winning mentality, hunger, desire, drive and passion. As far as squads go, that's far from average in my eyes, outstanding width, keeping, defending and attacking with only the centre mid being 'average'. Does one area make this side average? Is it a myth based on this side not being to the standards of previous squads? I look at some of our opposition, Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Tottenham and Liverpool and with every squad the only area I fancy them as being superior is the centre, not width, not strikers, nor defenders, nor keeper. Perhaps my analysis is bias, as expected perhaps seeing as I'm a United fan but I can't help but feel people underrating us tends to come at their own expense and it makes winning that whole lot more sweeter.
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09/05/2011 17:30:00

Most people have been saying that isnt the greatest of United teams but lets look at the facts. We are about to win the league, we've scored the most goals all season, lost less, havent conceeded an away goal in the CL in quite some time and we are undefeated in Europe. I mean, if after all this we are still bad, then I'm guessing it's a great thing. It is a testament to the bars we've set!
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09/05/2011 18:54:00

I can only imagine us when we are truly firing on all cylinders and some of our younger players reach their peak. God help the rest of the league.
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09/05/2011 19:06:00

There is also another interpretation to your success with a lesser squad this season which you would want to blind yourselves to. Could it not be that a la Chelsea( the team having gone AWOL midseason imagine the points total had that not happened)) the rest of the big teams in the Premiership and across Europe eg( Schalke beating Inter) are having a poorer than usual season and may come back to bite you next season especially with the added strength.
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10/05/2011 15:57:00

Blue_Mel we've hardly been firing on all cylinders ourself as for Chelsea and Inter being below par, that's due to the age of their squads I reckon, too many players have started the detoriatory phase and are no longer anything more than average. I would love to sit here and write a comparison between squads of other 'big' teams but why wast my breath? So many are too blinkered to see this squad for what it is a young squad oozing with quality and potential. Just a small comparison rather than an in depth one. Who out of Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter, Real and Barca can boast a better defense than us? Only Chelsea. Who can boast a better strike force than us? Only Real and Barca, solely because of Ronaldo and Messi more so than their other strikers. Who has greater width than us? Barca. I don't even believe Chelsea have a better midfield than our own, it has big names but those names just haven't delivered. The issue is our squad isn't star struck with names in flashing lights like other 'world class' sides and so they will never get the recognition they deserve.
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10/05/2011 17:05:00


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