Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

United Relaxed Too Early

Manchester United
2 - 1
Aston Villa

Old Trafford


Attendance: 74,900


Manchester United are in the 4th round of the FA Cup. That's good. We played well in the 3rd round, created a lot of chances and apart from a 10 minute period, we defended well. That's also good.

But it wasn't all happy and beautiful. United dominated the proceedings in the first half, having 68% of possession but in the first 35 minutes, they failed to light up the stage. We were comfortable in passing the ball around and waiting for chances to come. Of course, it's possible we had a strategy of letting Villa relax then strike. Villa did not relax but we struck and only some serious profligacy prevented us from taking the lead in the last 10 minutes. Debutant Henrik Larsson proved he's more than a worthy addition to the squad as his shrewd moves and efficient passing helped us to create trouble. He missed the best chance of the first 45 minutes when Carrick's fantastic long ball found him on the edge of the area but his shot hit Kiraly's leg.

We picked up the pace early in the second half and exciting and delicate passing led to an excellent goal by Larsson and I was out of my seat, celebrating him and Sir Alex's shrewd acquisition. Two minutes later, Kiraly watched frozen as Giggs' freekick hit the bar but problems were on their way.

The reason is quite simple: United relaxed. We let our concentration diminish and allowed the hitherto outplayed opponent back into the game. They had had two chances in three minutes before they found their equaliser which proved again that our defence is just not quite the same when either Rio or Vidic is absent. I believe the Serbian's absence is the bigger blow and that showed on Sunday.

Having said that, I must admit the boys found their stride at once and they were wreaking havoc in Villa's half. Larsson did not seem tired but Fergie brought Solskjaer on for him and we plummeted Villa, with Rooney leading the line as playmaker, with some help from Carrick. Still, we could not find our way past their keeper and when Sir Alex brought on O'Shea for Carrick in the 89th minute I braced myself for the thought of a replay at Villa Park. The rest, as we know, is history as Rooney picked up the ball in Villa's half, laid it into Ole's path whose shot somehow found its way under Kiraly's arm.

So, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to score a decisive goal in the dying seconds of a cup game. Seems familiar, doesn't it? Evoked some sweet memories...

Star Player

Wayne Rooney - He wasn't at his best but two assists and a lot of chances created for others earn him a man of the match title at Vital United.

Player Ratings

Kuszczak 6

He was a bit uncertain at corners but rarely troubled, not at fault with the goal.

Gary Neville 6

Good defensive work but strangely quiet in attack.

Ferdinand 6

He forgot about Milan Baros at the equaliser.

Brown 6

Good effort.

Evra 7

The usual high-standard performance.

Ronaldo 6

He had some difficulties against Bouma so he was rahter quiet.

Carrick 6

Deployed as playmaker in the absence Scholes, he handled the task fairly well.

Giggs 6

Good freekick, good passing but not at his best in the centre.

Park 6

Improved performance but his shooting is terrible, to be frank.

Rooney 7

A bit desperate to do well but he did well.

Larsson 7

Considered him for Star Player but I didn't want to overhype him after only one game! Good goal, a lot of running, an encouraging display.

Fletcher 6

Worked hard.

Solskjaer 7

Decisive goal.


No impact.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.

Date:Tuesday January 9 2007
Time: 12:18PM

Best of Vital Network


larsson had a great game. we could of won the game in the first half but we never so we thank ole again
09/01/2007 14:53:00
rooneyisgod, I agree we should have killed the game off in the first half, but if it was that easy it wouldent be worth playing! i would like to see Ole and Henrik play together! they are both clinical finishers!
10/01/2007 09:41:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

Red Boy
Editor email
Charlie Bacchus
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Is Mourinho the Right Man for Manchester United?
Suggested By: Red Boy
Time will tell!13%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Manchester United Results (view all)

Manchester United Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

2.Cathal P Forde1