Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

The Dreaded 'R' Word

The Dreaded 'R' Word

Manchester United are forced to play another game as they failed to beat an aggressive Middlesbrough team at the Riverside.

I'm sure Fergie and Gareth Southgate are unhappy that the game between United and a European XI had been arrenged for this week because it means Middlesbrough and United will have a replay on March 19 - 2 days after the teams' league games.

The Reds will have important fixtures in the Premiership and prepare to face Roma in the Champions League so I'm sure that on thing Fergie wanted to avoid above all was a replay. He fielded his strongest team but for some unknown reason he once again deployed Rooney on the wing and Giggs in the middle, off the solitary striker, Larsson. This system proved to be ineffective several times in the past but yesterday the lads made the most of it.

Larsson, Rooney and Giggs swapped positions repeatedly and Boro failed to cope with our attacking play for much of the first half. Rooney's goal was excellent and Giggs hit the post. Near the end of the first 45 minutes we learned that the FA had introduced a new role: any Manchester United player who is fouled will receive a yellow card. Rob Styles did not hesitate to apply this strange rule to Larsson, much to the striker's dismay.

Sir Alex's disgust must have been even more serious when thanks to some glorious misunderstanding between Kuszczak and Ferdinand, Boro equalised at the end and when they scored another goal due to our ridiculous defending at the start of the second half, United were suddenly struggling despite being the better team for 40 minutes. Styles once again took centre stage when he failed to award a penalty for a push on Rooney but to be honest, United looked like as if they had lost the plot and would not score until tomorrow morning. Boro were defending like demons and their agreesive style caused us serious problems. Thankfully, one of their most impressive performers came to our rescue.

I believe Boateng should have headed that ball away; I simply cannot understand why he decided to handle it. It was a clear handball so not even Styles could have denied us the penalty which Ronaldo coolly converted.

The rest of the second half was played at great speed but as the minutes ticked away it became increasingly obvious that our players would settle for a replay. Boro could not revert to attack though they had a last go at us at the final minutes but it ended as a draw and neither side can have complaints about that.

We have to take the positives: O'Shea played very well, just as Carrick and I was satisfied with Giggs, too. Rooney did not like life on the wing but managed to score a delightful goal. Cristiano Ronaldo was a bit quiet and I would have expected more from Larsson in his swansong. Tomasz Kuszczak showed he has talent in abundance but his confidence and aerial ability must be improved. Let's hope Edwin's injury is not serious...

Gaby Heinze was often exposed in defense but his attacking work can't be criticised while Ferdinand and Vidic played one of their worst games of the season. Both picked up knocks and are unlikely to feature against the European XI on Tuesday. Paul Scholes will play and the replay means he will miss only one league game, against Bolton, due to his three-match ban.

Should we be happy about the draw? Well, we obviously can't win every game and we won't win 15 matches in a row. If we accept this, then I must say the draw is good: we are still in the FA Cup and the inevitable stumbling did not occur in a league game. The Premiership is the priority and the most important is not to drop points in that competition. Everything else is secondary.

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:Zae
Date:Sunday March 11 2007
Time: 9:56AM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Dan Blackwell Retires

Comments

0
The price of success Im afraid, you should have had another replay against the Villa.
col8
13/03/2007 05:49:00
0
At least it'll be at Old Trafford. Boro caused us plenty of problems recently, no matter where the game had been played but I'm always more relaxed when we play at home.
midlothian99
13/03/2007 10:57:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester United Articles

Clattenburg to Referee FA Cup Final

According to some sources.

United Interested in Barcelona Defender

But so are others!

United Interested in Kroos But……

An interesting piece published by a leading tabloid this morning has two threads that may be of interest.

Deal Now Dead in the Water

Previously, on several occasions, Manchester United have been linked with a move for a German international defender.

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)

Manchester United v Leicester City?
Suggested By: Red Boy
United to Win!95%
Leicester City to Win!5%
A Draw!0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Leicester City 35 22 10 3 76 30
2 Spurs 35 19 12 4 69 39
3 Man City 35 19 7 9 64 32
4 Arsenal 35 18 10 7 64 24
5 Man Utd 34 17 8 9 59 12
6 West Ham 34 14 14 6 56 14
7 Liverpool 34 15 10 9 55 13
8 Southampton 35 15 9 11 54 12
9 Chelsea 34 12 11 11 47 7
10 Stoke 35 13 8 14 47 -14
11 Everton 34 9 14 11 41 5
12 Watford 34 11 8 15 41 -7
13 WBA 35 10 11 14 41 -11
14 AFC Bournemouth 35 11 8 16 41 -19
15 Swansea 35 10 10 15 40 -15
16 Crystal Palace 35 10 9 16 39 -9
17 Sunderland 34 7 10 17 31 -18
18 Norwich 34 8 7 19 31 -25
19 Newcastle 35 7 9 19 30 -26
R Aston Villa 35 3 7 25 16 -44
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Manchester United Results (view all)

Manchester United Fixtures (view all)

May 1 2016 1:30PM : Leicester City (H)
Barclays Premier League
May 7 2016 12:45PM : Norwich City (a)
Barclays Premier League
May 10 2016 7:45PM : West Ham United (a)
Barclays Premier League
May 15 2016 3:00PM : AFC Bournemouth (H)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.hayourdayle1
2.alvinemz1