Date:Saturday November 18 2006
After an early scare, dominant United managed to collect all three points at Bramall Lane. Former Red Devil Keith Gillespie have given Sheffield the lead after 13 minutes but Wayne Rooney scored a fine goal in the 30th minute of both halves to keep United three points ahead of Chelsea.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors as Ryan Giggs attempted to release Gary Neville on the right. Kazim-Richards got in the way of the ball but somehow he couldn't clear it away, stumbled and allowed Gary to break clear on goal but his shot was saved by Kenny.
Three minutes later the home fans almost exploded with joy as the Blades took an improbable lead. Geary sent a cross to the far post, Gillespie got away from Evra and headed the ball perfectly into the far corner.
It was the last time Sheffield really threatened up front. After this point, it was one-way traffic and the only question was whether the host would be able to bear the pressure as United laid siege to Kenny's goal. Three minutes after the goal Gary Neville's cross found Rooney but the 21-year-old striker's header was parried by the confident-looking Kenny. Then United could have been awarded a penalty when Rob Kozluk barged into Saha from behind but Rob Styles' ignored the visitors's protest.
The breakthrough came after 30 minutes and it was no surprise that the lively Rooney was able to break the deadlock. Gary Neville's cross was superb again, Wazza controlled the ball and fired it into the far corner from seven yards out.
Saha's cut-in from the right failed to find Ronaldo or Rooney then Scholes went down following Giggs' cross but Styles waved play on once again.
In the second half it was apparent that United are quickly becoming frustrated because of their failure to take the lead. They were nowhere near as threatening as in the first half though their majority in possession was still significant.
Rooney carved out a chance for himself after 55 minutes but shot well over the bar from the edge of the area. Giggs, Ronaldo and Rooney all had good crosses cleared as Sheffield's defence, marshalled by the excellent Jagielka, held firm.
United were easily the better team but they had to wait for the 75th minute to grab the winning goal. Patrice Evra's cross eluded Davis and fall to Rooney at the far post whose first-time shot beat Kenny and rolled into the net. Two minutes later, Ronaldo fired wide following Giggs' fine cross. The Portuguese international could have scored in the 84th minute but his powerful header rattled off the crossbar. He was unlucky - but minutes later, he missed the chance of the season. Giggs' low cross found him alone four yards out, with Kenny in the wilderness but somehow managed to lift the ball over the bar...
It was outrageous, to be honest but Sheffield weren't even close to a second goal so it was a comfortable game after the second goal. Arsenal and Liverpool have both drawn their respective games so it's now surely a two-horse race - now the time has come for the game of the season!
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Date:Saturday November 18 2006
|1. Man City||8||6||0||2||+12||18|
|3. Man Utd||8||5||1||2||+4||16|
|4. Crystal Palace||8||5||0||3||+4||15|
|5. Leicester City||8||4||3||1||+2||15|
|6. West Ham||8||4||2||2||+6||14|
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