29 August 2009

Manchester United vs Arsenal Special Review



Picture Match Highlights
(Check out the Video Highlighs at the bottom of the post)

Arshavin scored an awesome long range shot at the end of 40 minutes. Vidic was unable to stop him.

Rooney was unbeatable in his runs and finally stopped by the Arsenal goalkeeper which cost them a penalty kick!

He doesnt miss many! Scored an excellent and flawless penalty kick.

Giggs was certainly my man of the match because of his excellent role as an effective striker which revived my memories of his old-skool performances.

Foster at his best.

The ineffective and lazy Man united striker daydreaming on the field and looking fr inspiration.

There was a great laughter during the stoppage time after 90 minutes of play when Gunner's manager Arsene Wenger was Yellow carded and not just asked to leave the benches and also the dug out. This was a result of showing his frustration on the referee and kicking the water bottle lying on the ground on seeing the referee's offside flag when Arsenal nearly equalised. This shot was taken when Arsene Wenger was protesting and suddenly the Ref pointed towards the dug out! All the Man United fans around him started screaming and shouting in laughter at this rare football scene!


Manchester United end the winning streak of Gunners with the help of Abou Diaby's disastrous own goal which put United on the 3rd Position a few places above Arsenal and Liverpool. Chelsea and Spurs remain unbeaten so far in the season and stick to their 1st and 2nd positions respectively.

The Gunners controlled much of the first half and took the lead through an excellent long-range strike from Andrey Arshavin five minutes before the interval.

United improved in the second period and Wayne Rooney equalised from the penalty spot in the 59th minute after being brought down by Manuel Almunia.

Abou Diaby then headed a Ryan Giggs free-kick into his own net five minutes later to put United ahead, while the game ended with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger being sent off.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accused United of adopting "anti-football" tactics after this fiery meeting between the Premier League title hopefuls.

Arsene Wenger was sent off as Arsenal were denied a last-gasp equaliser in what was a thrilling encounter with Manchester United. Wenger must have already been raging at the injustice of it all as an outstanding performance from his team went unrewarded thanks to Wayne Rooney's controversial second-half penalty and an Abou Diaby own goal. But when what would have been an equaliser with virtually the last kick for Robin van Persie was ruled out for offside against William Gallas, it was too much for Wenger, who lashed out in frustration and was sent to the stands by referee Mike Dean. After a laughable delay as Wenger got as near to the action as he could by clambering onto the top of the dug-out, the Frenchman made his way to the tunnel, lingering long enough to witness the last dregs of an epic.

The Gunners were in front and on top when Rooney went down under Manuel Almunia's challenge just before the hour mark. There was at least some contact this time but it was limited enough to leave Wenger gnashing his teeth, especially as Andrey Arshavin had been denied a stone-wall spot-kick earlier. The outcome was the same as Eduardo achieved earlier in the week. Rooney sent Almunia the wrong way, ensuring the only blot on Diaby's fine performance turned out to be the own goal that sealed a win that wrecked Arsenal's 100% start to the season.

There was plenty of pace on the shot but England goalkeepers should really be doing better than pushing it into the roof of the net, as Foster did. Nemanja Vidic came close to levelling straight away for the hosts but, as they trooped into the tunnel for a dismal half-time debrief, the best they could actually reflect on was a Rooney free-kick that curled narrowly wide. Strangely given how one-sided the opening half had been, Ferguson did not try to change things during the interval. And his team were almost out of the game before he had retaken his seat. Arshavin sped past John O'Shea as though the Irishman was not there to reach the by-line and picked out Van Persie with a teasing low cross that looked certain to be number two until Foster stuck out a leg to make a magnificent save. At that point, there seemed to be only one winner. How wrong those doubters were as Ferguson's team surged back, Ryan Giggs the architect behind the comeback just as Arshavin had sparked Arsenal earlier. Rooney went straight for the ball, put it on the spot and promptly sent Almunia the wrong way and scored a perfect penalty kick to bring his 4th goal of the season. Any pretence at defence was now swept away amid the fervour of an occasion that threatened to become a classic. . A minute later, from a very similar position, United got their second. In truth, Giggs' free-kick would not have threatened Almunia if Diaby had not stuck his head on it and deflected it straight into the corner of his own goal.

Dimitar Berbatov came on for the the veteran Giggs who played marvellously well and created chances to seal the win for United. He was the one who let Diaby score an own goal! Berbatov missed some sitters as soon as he came on the pitch which was much expected from him. Till now, he hasnt proved his worth of £30m. As he said in his exclusive Manutd.com interview "I am still learning". Well you seriously cant be learning to take such easy chances and especially sitters like that! It was an excellent pass from Nani, who is in great form this season, and Berbatov just couldn't do better than kicking the ball high above the last stand of the crowd behind.. As if he pressed the X button on his 360/PS3 a bit too much.

Thats all from today.

Do catch us after the Spurs game and hopefully we beat them to move up a place in the Barclays Premier League table.

Video Highlights

Take care!

28 August 2009

Man United face tough trips in Europe


Sir Alex Ferguson admits United have been dealt a difficult draw in the Champions League group stages.

The Reds were paired with Russians CSKA Moscow, Turkish outfit Besiktas and German champions Wolfsburg in Group B which was out on 27th August, 2009.

The travelling distances as well as the quality of the teams will pose a stern test for last season's beaten finalists.

"These are difficult ties, especially the trips to Russia and Turkey," Sir Alex told ManUtd.com. "CSKA have developed strongly in the last few years and games in Turkey are always difficult.

"We also know the quality that we're up against with Wolfsburg, with what they achieved in the Bundesliga last season."

United's group stage fixtures
Tuesday 15 September: Besiktas (A)
Wednesday 30 September: Wolfsburg (H)
Wednesday 21 October: CSKA Moscow (A)
Tuesday 3 November: CSKA Moscow (H)
Wednesday 25 November: Besiktas (H)
Tuesday 8 December: Wolfsburg (H)

25 August 2009

Anderson to quit?

Midfielder Anderson is facing an uncertain future at OT with manager Sir Alex Ferguson unimpressed by his failure to realise his potential at the club.

Anderson, 21, has made just one Premier League appearance this season – a poor 60 minute outing in the 1-0 defeat at Burnley last week – and it has been reported that the former Porto midfielder complained to Ferguson after being omitted from the squad for the Community Shield clash against Chelsea at Wembley earlier this month.

Having arrived at United in a £19m transfer from Porto in 2007, Anderson, has struggled impose himself on Ferguson's first-team.

In 77 senior outings, Anderson has failed to score for United and his performance during the Champions League final defeat against Barcelona in Roma last May is understood to have prompted Ferguson's concerns over the player's ability to succeed at Old Trafford.

The United manager has spoken this summer of the need for Anderson and Portuguese winger Nani to step up to the plate this season following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ferguson is also keen to see signs that both players are capable of becoming long-term successors to Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs respectively. 

Darren Fletcher's emergence as a key figure over the past 12 months and the development of Republic of Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson have increased competition at the heart of United's midfield.

And Ferguson has noted Anderson's failure to stamp his mark on games when he has been selected ahead of the likes of Fletcher and Michael Carrick.

Despite suggestions that Anderson has been told he will be sold, Ferguson remains determined to continue to push the player towards his best form.

Anderson arrived from Porto as a 19-year-old with a reputation as one of the world's brightest young talents and both Ferguson and his staff at United believe that he still possesses the attributes to live up to that billing.

Ironically, Anderson may be handed the opportunity to shine this weekend when Ferguson selects his team to face Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Brazilian has regularly impressed against Arsene Wenger's team, particularly against Cesc Fabregas, who misses this weekend's game through injury, and Ferguson could hand Anderson the challenge of proving himself in the season's first Big Four clash.

24 August 2009

Vidic could face FA charge

The Serb could face 'trial by television' after the incident in the Red Devils' thrashing of the Latics on Saturday...

Nemanja Vidic could be in line for a ban, should the Football Association decide to charge him with violent conduct, after an angry incident at the JJB Stadium on Saturday in which he appeared to slap Wigan Athletic striker Hugo Rodallega.

The Colombian had clattered into United keeper Ben Foster as he challenged for the ball, and the Serbian centre-back reacted with annoyance!

FA is considering using video evidence to establish whether the Serb is guilty or not, whilst Rodallega himself could also face sanctions after shrugging off referee Howard Webb a little too assertively when the official was asking him to calm down.

The ref, Webb, did not see the alleged slap, and FA officials will be asking him what he would have done had he seen the incident.

This could result in a three-game ban for Vidic, not what Sir Alex Ferguson needs currently, with centre-back Johnny Evans perhaps requiring surgery after limping out of yesterday's match having aggravated an injury. Rio Ferdinand is still out of action for the Mancunians with a thigh problem, reducing Ferguson's options at the heart of his defence.

23 August 2009

ManU's high-five return


Micheal Owen scored his first premier league goal in a Manchester Utd shirt as Sir Alex Ferguson's side stormed to a 5-0 victory at the JJB Stadium on Saturday.
The Premier league champions had suffered a rare and embarrassing midweek defeat against the newly-promoted Burnley.

But it was back to bussiness as usual as Wayne Rooney netted a brace and Dimitar Berbatov also opened his account for the season to seal united's second win of the campaign. Rooney scored his 100th goal for United in great style by placing the header into the far corner of the net.

United were forced to ensure a frustrating first half but their class told in the end with England striker Rooney producing an impressive performance.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson replaced the entire four man midfield which started at Turf Moor while captain Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic made their first starts of the season after long term injuries.

United's frustration eased when Rooney, easily the most threatening player, outjumped Bramble to power Valencia's cross beyond the reach of Kirkland (who was wearing a cap lol). Then Berbatov sealed the points in the 58th min after hooking the ball over Kirkland and then finishing from close range (This was probably the best goal of the match).

Wigan were shell shocked and their afternoon went from bad to worse when Rooney added his second and his side's third after his 65th min effort found the net after deflecting off Mario Melchiot's body.

Owen came on for Rooney and Gibson replaced the yellow carded Scholes. Gibson looked impressive with his brilliant long range shots which were pretty much on target. This reminded me of his performace during the last few matches of last season's premier league matches.

Owen then made it 4-0 with a trademark finish which will do his chances of earning an England recall no harm. I must say it was an excellent connection with Nani. It was a spectacular goal from a very acute angle and Michael did no mistakes in putting the ball on target this time!

Nani added the fifth through an awesome free kick in the closing stages to wrap up a brilliant 2nd half performance!

Do have a look at all the 5 goals at the end of the post.

With United finding awesome form, we can expect such brilliant performances in the near future, but the real test lies against the gunners, who visit Old Trafford next week.

(My prediction for this game went wrong, but in the right direction!!!!)

Catch me next weekend after the Gunner's game..


21 August 2009

Wigan vs Manchester Utd : Preview

Sir Alex Ferguson will not allow his men to lose two games on the trot.

Having only managed a narrow win against Birmingham,before being embarrassed by Burnley in midweek, The Red Devils need to go out at the JJB stadium and prove the critics wrong.

Notorious for being slow-starters for the season,expect United to come out hunting for prey like a hungry predator.

Wigan have had a rollercoaster week,beating Aston Villa for a brilliant start before caving into wolverhampton on tuesday.With Roberto Martinez at the helm,the latics are playing a fluid attacking brand of football which could work against them when they take on the big clubs as the tactic leaves them wide open at the back.


Wigan 0-2 Man Utd


United face a shocking defeat against Burnley!

Burnley beat Manchester United for the first time in 41 years with a stunning 1-0 victory over the English Premier League champions at Turf Moor on Wednesday.

Robbie Blake struck a superb volley from outside the box in the 19th minute and United wasted the chance to equalise when Michael Carrick saw his penalty well saved by Brian Jensen just before the break.

United piled on the pressure in the second half but an inspired Jensen and some wasteful finishing kept them at bay.

Burnley, who won the second of their two league championships in 1960, are back in the top flight for the first time since 1976.

"The chances we've had we should have won the match," United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports news. "Burnley got the victory in 10 minutes in the first half. They played very well."

Burnley took their surprise lead with Blake's beautifully taken volley and escaped an equaliser minutes before halftime when Blake tripped Patrice Evra in the box only for Carrick to miss the spot kick.

Michael Owen, substituted in front of England coach Fabio Capello on the hour after failing to make an impact, made way for Berbatov who improved United's attack but Burnley held on.

Great work from captain Gerrard allowed Dutchman Dirk Kuyt to add a third on 78 minutes and David Ngog added a fourth late in the game.

Birmingham City's 1-0 victory over Portsmouth, with a last-gasp penalty from James McFadden, meant there is yet to be a drawn match in the new Premier League season.


Michael Owen already under pressure!

Sir Alex Ferguson has described Owen's free-transfer arrival from Newcastle earlier this summer as a "punt", but, so far, there is little evidence of a goalscoring return from the 29-year-old former England forward.

Two games into the Premier League campaign and United have scored just once against the promoted pair of Birmingham City and Burnley. The summer departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, who contributed 41 goals between them last season, are already beginning to tell.

Owen, despite his injury-ravaged recent past, has been recruited to help make up the shortfall in front of goal, but his return of four goals in four games during the pre-season tour of the Far East, against flimsy opposition, can now be send in a clearer perspective.

A fluffed opportunity against Birmingham, when he failed to score from a one-on-one against the goalkeeper in injury time, and an off-target header from close range at Turf Moor prove that at least that Owen is getting chances. The concern for United is that he is not taking them.

The blistering pace of Owen's youth is gone, but he has re-modeled his game to become a live threat inside the penalty area. When the chances arrive, though, Owen is snatching at them in the manner of a forward who knows he has scored just once in his last 20 senior outings.

Owen has yet to win hearts and minds amongst some United supporters, who continue to view him suspiciously as a Liverpool "cast-off".

An editorial in the latest issue of the United fanzine, Red Issue, suggests that the "horrified reactions back in June that greeted the first rumours United were in line to sign him are the true measure of his standing".

Owen can silence his critics only by scoring goals. Fabio Capello, another Owen doubter, will have left Turf Moor on Wednesday evening to news of Jermain Defoe's hat-trick for Spurs at Hull, further convinced that Defoe, rather than Owen, is his best option in South Africa next summer.

Wayne Rooney has already raised his game to another level in the absence of Ronaldo, but neither Owen nor Dimitar Berbatov appear on the same wavelength!!

There is little opportunity for Ferguson to perform a late about-turn and sign another forward before the transfer deadline. Not only is value difficult to find, but the best options – Karim Benzema, Tevez, Samuel Eto'o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – have already found new clubs.

Sergio Aguero, David Villa and Defoe could be targeted, but the prospects of striking a deal are slim, despite the £80 million banked for Ronaldo that remains unspent. Does SAF want to spend the jingle in his pocket?

United need to find their scoring boots quickly. After Saturday's trip to Wigan, Ferguson's team face Arsenal, Spurs and local rivals Manchester City in successive league games and there will be no margin for error in any of them.


Vidic back, Ferdinand ruled out for a month atleast

Nemanja Vidic will return for United on Saturday against Wigan, but that good news was offset by confirmation that Rio Ferdinand will be out for up to a month.

Sir Alex confirmed the return of one of his favoured central defenders on Friday, but conceded that a minor muscle tear in Rio's thigh will keep him out for "hopefully three, but maybe four" weeks.

"We don't have any new injuries from Wednesday night. They're all fit," Ferguson told his pre-match press conference.

"The one position we're hoping for an improvement in is with Vidic. He's trained now for 10 days and he is ready for a game. Hopefully he'll be OK for Saturday.

"Gary Neville played 15 minutes at Burnley and he could be ready too, and that gives us experience at an important time after the defeat on Wednesday."

In Neville and Vidic, Sir Alex will welcome back plenty of experience into a defensive unit that has been shorn of familiarity so far this season.

"Experience is important," the Reds boss added. "And the kind of experience that Gary brings is great for us, while Vidic's performance levels since he's been with us have been outstanding. We'll get that back on Saturday and that'll help us

In addition, the 30-year old now seems certain to miss the next two England games, starting with a friendly against Slovenia on 5 September, then a World Cup qualifier against Croatia four days later.


19 August 2009

Transfer Season Over

With Sir Alex calling this summer's transfer session ''over'' for manchester united, speculations are still abound that manchester united are not done with their summer signings.

While Sir Alex has completely distanced himself from ''Real Madrid'' and city rivals ''Manchester City's'' enormous spending spree's,the large amount he unearthed by the sale of C.Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez is still jingling in his pocket.

Unlike liverpool,chairman David Gill has reportedly given Sir Alex a free reign, claiming he has asked the Scot to spend as much as he likes to strengthen the squad. Sir Alex was reportedly interested in Lyon's French striker 'Karim Benzema' , but after he was beaten to it by Real Madrid , reports have it that Sir Alex now does not want to spend anymore.

''We have enough depth in our squad to win the epl and do well in champions league'' claims the scott. But after sundays encounter with Birmingham City,many questions have been raised about United's attacking power.

With Berbatov and the new signing Owen missing simple chances, it was again upto United's golden boy Rooney to rescue the red devils against a resilient Birmingham. While united's attacking options are still being questioned, reports say that united are officially holding a bid for spanish and valencia winger ''David Silva''.

But Sir Alex has again quashed these rumours saying that he is satisfied with his squad.
Wether United can repeat their brilliant perfomance from last year, only time will tell,but with their young Portugese winger Nani finding great form,United can hope to rely on him to refill the gap left by Ronaldo.


18 August 2009

Vidic aiming for Barcelona?

Manchester United's growing concern about Nemanja Vidic's intentions have been exacerbated by the player's agent stating that the Serb's "dream" is to play in Spain. It is the same word that Cristiano Ronaldo used in terms of moving to Real Madrid and, though Sir Alex Ferguson can be confident Vidic is not going to be as blatant as his former team-mate, there is a growing sense of unease about whether the defender is as committed to the club as he used to be.

Vidic has been a target for Barcelona this summer, with the European Cup winners apparently acting on information that he would be willing, at the very least, to think about leaving English football. The 27-year-old has tried to play down those reports but the stories have persisted that he wants a new challenge and that his wife is not happy in Manchester.

"Vidic would be delighted to play at Barcelona as his dream is to go to the Spanish league," Fabbri said. "We have to analyse the situation but, being realistic, things are complicated at the moment. The team have just lost Ronaldo and Tevez and they do not want to lose another important piece of their starting XI once again."

Vidic's importance to the team can be gauged by the fact he won all of the club's player-of-the-season awards last season and Ferguson would be appalled at the mere suggestion that the Serbia international is thinking about his future. Nonetheless, it has become clear to the United management that Vidic wants to explore the possibility of breaking up his highly successful central defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand if one of the two major Spanish clubs makes an official approach.

United's position is firmly that Vidic is not for sale at any time, and not just in the current predicament of having to play at Burnley tonight with five defenders, Vidic included, on the injury list. As well as commanding interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid, Vidic has also reportedly had some form of contact with Milan in the last few months.

What's the future of our Manchester United!!!


Burnley v Manchester United: match preview

So United face the minnows Burnley tomorrow after roughly 3 decades! Its an away game scheduled to be at 7.45 BST. that is 6.45 GMT. I am sure you can adjust your watches accordingly.

United will be missing their key back 5 tomorrow namely Ferdinand (thigh injury), Evans (ankle injury), Rafael, Neville and Vidic. So it will be an immense responsibility on Evra, O Shea, Fabio and Brown to take on Burnley's attack and preventing from getting conceded so early in the season. Rio is expected to miss the Arsenal game as well which is scheduled to be on 29th August.

(Probable, 4-1-4-1): Jensen; Mears; Carlisle, Jordan, Kalvenes; Alexander, Paterson, Elliott, McCann, Blake; Fletcher.

United (Probable, 4-4-2): Foster; Fabio, O’Shea, Brown, Evra; Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes, Nani; Berbatov, Rooney.

Betting tip: Manchester United are 9-1 to win 3-1.

Players to look for from United will be Nani (Can he stay fit on the ground for 90 minutes?) and Berbatov (Can he even be 10% efficient on the field and prove that he is worth £35m ?)

That's all from the pre-match discussions.. Will be back with more after the Burnley game.

16 August 2009

Rooney seals win for United's 1st game of the Season

Full time score: MAN 1-0 BIR

Evra and Rooney become the Heroes of the 1st Premier League game of the season for Manchester United. Evra saved an excellent delivery from Larsson by his header. So the two were the spotlights of the game.

Have a look at the goal Rooney scored -

According to me it was a pretty slow start for United. Berbatov was very sluggish as always. Nani looked impressive once again but he was subsituted at the half time because of his shoulder injury. Giggs came in for Nani and was very efficient in passing the ball around. There were a couple of good chances for Michael Owen who replaced the inefficient Berbs at the 75th minute. He almost had a magical introduction but I wish he had scored when he was one on one with the B'gham city's goalie who righly blocked the chance and didnt let the No. 7 score. Valencia also looked impressive.

Fletcher was the only United's player to get booked. Also, Ferdinand is not available for the next two weeks = about 3 games. This will let Fergie try his other defenders like Evans, Wes Brown and Fabio.

I firmly believe Nani is going to have an absolutely fantastic season. May he recover from his shoulder injury soon and play in their next game against Burnley which is an away game on 19th August.We might get to see their exclusive away jersey which is the current theme of this blog. The kick off is at 7.45 PM BST. So do catch the action live and exclusive.

That's all from today. Will catch you very soon with all the transfer developments and the coming Wednesday's game updates.

Glory Glory Man United

15 August 2009

And the Season Kicks off!

15th August,2009 - The day that every one was waiting for is here. YES! The Premier League starts today and indeed in great style.

Welcome to theredevilspot.blogspot.com. I can guarantee that this is going to be a perfect spot for the Red Devils present globally!

So back to Manchester United! We have the 1st game of the season tomorrow and the excitement could just not be any bigger than this. A lot has changed since 24th May, 2009 - the last premier league game of Manchester United against Hull City (which they won 1-0). Cristiano Ronaldo has been bought by Real Madrid as one of their Galacticos! Carlos Tevez has fled away to our very own rivals - Man City. In other words, we have lost two of our main strikers.

In order to compensate, Fergie did try his best to heal the wound in Man United's Squad. We've got Michael Owen from Newcastle United on a free transfer! Now that's wise isn't it! We've also got Antonio Valencia as our right winger. It should be fascinating to watch Valencia as he takes on Ronaldo's job. We've also got Gabriel Obertan from Boardeux.

Back to tomorrow's fixture! There are big hopes from Manchester United that they will certainly out-perform in front of the home crowd and give United a perfect start to the season.

The Starting 11s

Manchester United: Foster, Evra, Evans, O’Shea, Fabio, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Valencia, Berbatov, Rooney.

Michael Owen is on the Bench and Nani has done a marvelous recovery from the injury he suffered in the Community Shield (vs Chelsea).

Birmingham City: Hart, Queudrue, Taylor, Roger Johnson, Carr, Fahey, Carsley, Ferguson, Larsson, Phillips, Jerome

That's all from today. Will catch you in a happy (hopefully) mood after Manchester United thrashes Birmingham city by a respectable manner.

Do tune in to your sports channel at 13:30 BST (6 PM IST)
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