Date:Saturday April 21 2007
Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Middlesbrough at Old Trafford - and now the title is in Chelsea's hands.
I know we are 4 points ahead right now but Chelsea only have to win all their remaining games to win their third successive Premiership title. Can you see them dropping any points? I can't.
We got off to a dream start as Scholes sent a beautiful pass into Rooney's path who took it round Schwarzer and allowed the arriving Richardson to score from close range.
Despite the fantastic start, United did not look settled and though Boro did not seem to possess any kind of attacking threat, we had to be careful. We were sloppy in possession and did not create chances so it's no surprise we were punished at the end of the first 45 minutes.
The blow was all the harder to take because of Rio's injury. In the second half, United looked even more shaky and we must be grateful to van der Sar for thwarting Viduka though it's true the Australian striker used his hand to put himself through.
Substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjer robbed Schwarzer cheekily and passed the ball into the empty net - but Peter Walton deemed it to be a foul. It was absolutely inexplicable for me but I must say Boro deserved a point at least. They were the better team in the second half, despite all our effort to snatch a winnner that always looked unlikely.
Newcastle are sure to present an easy chance for Chelsea to cut our lead to a single point and I have no doubt the Blues will do that with relish. Without Ferdinand, Vidic, Gary and Evra and three away games coming up in the league, including a trip to Stamford Bridge, a league title is beyond our grasp.
Rio is out for two weeks but I'm inclined to believe there's a curse on our defenders so I would not be surprised if we had to field a Fletcher-Brown-Heinze-Richardson back four at Stamford Bridge. Our defeat there is an inevitability even with our full team but it could turn out to be a Roma-style humiliation for us...
So, my greatest dream, the title is blown away now but we have two other trophies to fight for. I simply can't see us defeating Chelsea in the FA Cup final and our makeshift defence will be in dire trouble against Kaká, Gilardino and co. on Tuesday.
I must say thanks for the last few months to the team but our dreams look to be as good as over. I never wanted more desperately to be wrong than in this case.
Date:Saturday April 21 2007
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|1. Man City||4||4||0||0||10||12|
|2. Crystal Palace||4||3||0||1||3||9|
|3. Leicester City||4||2||2||0||3||8|
|4. Man Utd||3||2||1||0||2||7|
|7. West Ham||4||2||0||2||3||6|
|Arter undergoes minor operation
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