MANCHESTER UNITED 4-1 POMPEY
Fratton Park, Portsmouth
3 PM GMT K.O.
Wayne Rooney wins a penalty at Pompey! Thanks to a lightening run from Valencia.
Today's game seemed to be a contrast, where United boss wasn't allowed to be on the touch line, the newly assigned Pompey boss couldn't make much of the opportunity to level off the UEFA Champions league final's bad memories.
Pompey enjoyed excellent spells of possession in the midfield and the last third in the beginning. They stole the ball from United many times. The possession till half time was United 46% and Pompey 54%.
Scholes did an amazing job with two lovely strikes on goal; both deflected and won corners which United didnt have seem to take control of that effectively. Valencia looked electric with his lovely passes and vigourous runs, he helped Rooney win a penalty for United which Rooney took responsibly. United 1 up at 25 minutes.
Then came a strong reply from the Minnows. They took charge of the game until they won the disastrous penalty. It was apparently because Tomasz Kuszack probably charged one Pompey player. However, TV replays showed a completely different story. The United goalie didnt even touch any Pompey player! So it was definitely a bad decision. Paul Scholes had a very heated conversation with the referee (who was the 4th referee when S. Alex Ferguson fired got the 2-match ban.) on the decision of the penalty. The decision didnt alter though!
The ugliness wasn't over yet. Fletcher got involved in a very non-footballic incident with Pompey mid-fielder Boateng who initially pushed Fletcher. In response. Fletcher pulled his shirt and made him fall on the ground as well. This action certainly obeyed "Newton's 3rd law of Motion" if nothing else.!. It was really disastrous to watch, nonetheless.
Vidic got a yellow card for sliding off Pompey striker Dindane and and holding Piquionee's shirt.
Neville accompanied the referees after the First half to half a word.
6th minute into the Second Half saw a lovely diagonal pass by Valencia which was cleared by the defender.
Things got lot worse as it started raining and made the setting very soggy. The weather reminded me of the Chelsea - United UEFA final penalties; however United here were in total control.
Soone came the 3rd goal for United. This time Giggs was tripped over by Piquionne at the edge of the box which was clearly seen and responded by the Ref. United were all smiles as Rooney completes his deserving Hat-trick taking his goal tally to 11 so far this season (not very far away from Defoe)
On the other hand, Valencia was absolutely stunning today. His runs were full of confidence and he just lacked perfect crossing or was met by some excellent defending. In my opinion, he deserved a goal in the 77th minute when Rooney passed a wonderful pass to the Equidarian who crossed nearly perfectly untl the ball was sent for a Corner in the Pompey's final third.
7 vs 1.. But the Ref. has the VETO power!
Every decision from Ref is criticised by players.. not good. But this penalty against United was pointless and controversial!
The Polish goalie stopped a great strike which was impossible for Vidic to tackle on.. This was the 2nd great save from him.
United made a 76th min substitute when anderson replaced carrick. Anderson responded quickly to this opportunity as he fired a ball from the edge of box, and nearly missed the goal..
Giggs made it four for United as he sent a perfect free-kick into the goal!! He celebrated his 100th Premier League goal. Boy! what a win for United... It was a nice curl into the bottom left corner of the goal. Goalie had no chance... Do we need Ronaldo?
Fergie was still enjoying sitting in the executive box! with Gill. He also got an opportunity to talk on phone.
Fergie enjoying the game from the Business executive box.
Tomasz Kuszcak made a wonderful 3rd save by responding quickly to Boateng's brilliant volley which failed to compensate for the 4 goals as scored remained 4-1. The ball hit Kuszcak's hand and then rebound from the cross bar.!.
The dirty game ended superbly, United reigned over the second half, scoring 3 goals (2 of which coming from Wayne Rooney - the Hat-trick hero!) For a record, United had 6 shots on target, 4 of which found the target. The overall possession was 50-50.
Avram Grant's entry did make United struggle for the 1st half but the 2nd half performance was typical United!
Glory Glory Man United... See you before the Spurs Carling cup build up!