Reds at full strength to seal title win



Sir Alex Ferguson will resist any temptation to rest his star players ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Blackburn Rovers. The Reds require just a single point to seal this season’s Premier League title and a 19th domestic championship, eclipsing Liverpool’s record in the process. But Ferguson says he will play his full strength side against Rovers, with just two weeks remaining before the Champions League final.

The Scot can boast a full squad for the tie as his players gear up for the Wembley showpiece at Wembley, with the returning Darren Fletcher set to feature after completing an hour in the reserves on Thursday night. Ferguson dismissed any thought of resting key players, although the United boss hinted that goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar may sit out the tie.

“We must approach the game the right way and play our strongest team,” Ferguson said on Friday.

“It’s always a difficult game and Blackburn are fighting [to stay up]. They probably need a point. They’ll be trying their utmost to get that point or even beat us. We must put in the same effort. It’s a hard game for both teams but we go there with confidence after last Sunday’s win over Chelsea which was a great performance by us and we need another like that.

“Given the programme he’s been through in the last few weeks, this may be an opportunity to give [van der Sar] a break. They’ve all been important games.”

Ferguson’s comments raise the spectre of the Reds’ boss fielding a reserve team against Blackpool at Old Trafford next weekend as United seek to complete the season unbeaten at home, while the Tangerines chase survival. It promises to be a controversial selection; one that the Premier League may choose to monitor closely.

Indeed, Mexican striker Javier Hernández, who has now featured in 43 matches during his first season at Old Trafford, may be given an extended summer break. The striker leaves for the Gold Cup in June and will miss United’s pre-season tour to the United States before returning to Carrington for training in late July.

“Once he plays in the Gold Cup, Javier will be given a proper rest and we will take it up from there,” said Ferguson.

“His performances in training and in games suggests there’s no tiredness at all but we will keep monitoring that. If we get the result tomorrow he will get the rest. If we don’t then he will play next Sunday.”

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United. Ewood Park, 14 May 2011Ferguson is also likely to add Fletcher to the bench for the Rovers tie after the Scotland captain featured in United reserves’ 2-1 defeat to Blackburn in midweek. Fletcher has missed the best part of Untied’s run-in with a mystery virus but is now in contention to feature in the Champions League final too.

“He played over an hour on Wednesday [for the Reserves]. These kinds of games will hopefully bring him to the level for the final of a European Cup,” added the 69-year-old United boss.

“Hopefully he gets a bit tomorrow, some more on Monday for the Reserves and again against Blackpool next Sunday. There’s also Gary Neville’s testimonial game. There are opportunities to increase his fitness so we’ve got to give him the chance. He’s back training every day. He’s over his virus – it’s just a matter of getting that strength and speed to his game. He’s got the desire to do it.”

The Rovers game is, of course, one in which United should finally overtake Liverpool as the most successful in the land – at least in terms of domestic league titles. While Ferguson’s outfit has long “knocked Liverpool off their perch”, the Scot claims that continuing to win trophies is all that matters. And with Liverpool experiencing a renaissance under Kenny Dalglish, Ferguson says that the Premier League is set to get tougher in the coming seasons.

“I knew it [getting to 19] would happen at some point because of the history of the club,” added the Scot.

“There is a good structure here. We still produce young players really well and our scouting is good in terms of getting young players into the club at the right time. It would have happened anyway whether that was this year, next year or in 10 years’ time. The history and capability of the club would always have given us a chance.

“Liverpool will be galvanised next season I am sure of that. Kenny has signed a three-year contract that settles the club down and there will be plans. It just makes it more interesting next year. We have spoken for years about the big four but teams like Tottenham have not got back into the Champions League this year and they have had a fantastic season.

“It is going to be really difficult next year. It is going to be very difficult to get 90 points again because of the improvement of teams in the middle and towards the bottom of the Premier League.

“There has been an increase in desire from teams in those positions because the only place you can ever make money in English football is the Premier League.”

Meanwhile, Rovers probably require a single point for safety, raising the spectre of a tame Ewood Park draw that suits both parties. Manager Steve Keen is without on loan striker Mame Biram Diouf, who is ineligible to face his parent club. But the 43-year-old can welcome back defender Phil Jones, who has recovered from a back problem, while Michel Salgado and David Dunn are both fit.

Keen’s men are unlikely to face United’s top goalscorer Dimitar Berbatov though, with the Bulgarian again set for the United bench. The striker scored five in the corresponding fixture at Old Trafford but has started just one of United’s past 14 fixtures. It is a fall from grace that that corresponds directly to Hernández’ rise.

Yet, on this ground almost around 12 months ago the Bulgarian put in one of his most insipid performances in a Reds shirt, leading to a scoreless draw that ultimately cost United the Premier League title.

It seems unlikely that United, Berbatov or not, will “muck this up” in a similar way on Saturday.

Match Facts
Premier League. Ewood Park, Blackburn. 14 May 2001, 12.45pm.

Teams
United – 4411 – Kuszazck; Fabio da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, OShea; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park; Rooney; Hernandez. Subs from: van der Sar, Brown, Evans, Smalling, Rafael da Silva, Gibson, Owen, O’Shea, Berbatov, Nani, Anderson, Evra.

Rovers – 442 – Robinson; Olsson, Samba, P Jones, Givet; Emerton, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Pedersen; Roberts, Santa Cruz. Subs from: Bunn, Formica, Mwaruwari, Hanley, Rochina, Andrews, Formica, J Jones, Kalinic, Diouf.

Officials
Referee: Phil Dowd
Assistant referees: Andy Halliday & Scott Ledger
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

Form
Rovers – DDLLWD
United – DWWLWW

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Comments

  1. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Come on united, todays the day to make it 19.

  2. I dreamt that we lost it and had to wait till the last day…ffs following Utd disturbs ya sleep.

  3. Spike said:
    I dreamt that we lost it and had to wait till the last day…ffs following Utd disturbs ya sleep.

    so does having a wet dream…
    ffs am i the only one who is nervous today as i have been since Thursday?
    we need to start off like sunday – an early goal would be just fantastic

  4. A point at Ewood? Not a problem. One thing this side has done convincingly this season is get what they need at the time they need it. I have little fears about this match at all. This was a team that swatted Schalke aside with alarming ease despite people fearing that we might underestimate them.

    Blackburn will be put to the sword from the start. SAF would have told all the big players to win this game and then have next weekend off so they can prepare for Barcelona and they will.

  5. Spudiator Spudiator says:

    I have no fears about today, this is a team we demolished 7-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the season, and I can see nothing in them to suggest an upset on the cards. A comprehensive win should be in the bag to confirm the title in style. I reckon 3-0, Rooney, Chicharito and Berbatov to score.

  6. Kus, Fabio, Vidic, Rio, Evans, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Nani, Rooney, Chicharito

    in order

    sheesh you cunt

  7. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Buzzing can’t wait for the game to start.

  8. united sunderland shrewsbury and hudd/bmouth draw is the bet

    did 30 on city to win fa cup..will be happy either way then,

  9. madredmonkey said:
    Buzzing can’t wait for the game to start.

    you posting this in all the threads?

  10. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Yes, so up for it today, and football to.

  11. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    4 – 0 united

  12. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Sopcast – 6816 working…

  13. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Here we go.

  14. Ace ball from Rooney out wide

  15. Giggs slide tackle

  16. 35 years fuck all

    We all hate Leeds scum

  17. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Come on united.

  18. Fuck’s sake PIG

  19. What the fuck is that Polish cunt doing

  20. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    ffs… Kojak… and that’s why you don’t play more.

  21. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Jesus…

  22. Fuck off

    That all comes from the keeper’s fuck up

    That one moment of bullshit from PIG saw them grow in belief

  23. Now start fucking playing United and Fergal get rid of that fucking goalie

  24. pig you total knobhead… how can you demand a place in our team….

    fuck me …

  25. Goodness me!! What happened people? I am at work arent I?

  26. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Calvino said:
    Goodness me!! What happened people? I am at work arent I?

    Kojak happened.

  27. kzk is a dick.. should have been cleared much earlier i suppose..
    ball in from their left went right across the box and emerton pokd home.. we had 6/7players in the box

  28. Calvino said:
    Goodness me!! What happened people? I am at work arent I?

    PIG dropped the ball earlier on

    They grew in belief, piled on the pressure and scored

  29. So important to sign a sensible normal not weird goalkeeper to replace Van Der Sar

    Otherwise we won’t win anything

  30. At this point Blackburn are more likely to score than we are.

  31. He’s onside you total fucking useless cunts

  32. What the fuck is that cunt Kojak doing ???????

  33. This is embarrassing

    It’s a bad call from Fergie to play PIG

  34. We’ve lost the support from the United mob now n all ‘cos they’re all bricking it

  35. We look lethargic. This is supposed to be our first choice line up. FFS

  36. Awaits flying football boots and anything that isn’t tied down Roll on the HAIRDRYER !!!

  37. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Poor, fergie, sort it out.

  38. This is the last 45 minutes PIG will play for us

  39. Han & Cal

    ffs. do you two only read what you want to?
    We will be lucky to draw this, but I see a lost game cause of a PIG in goal.

  40. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Well… that was fun.

    One more stupid fuck up from Kojak, and he’s got to come off… I’d rather have O’Shea in goal ffs.

  41. Fair enough the goalie fucked up but it’s not as if we have been creative in the middle of the park. Usual away form from us. Pathetic.

  42. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    PIG is really fucking annoying!! I want to smash the fucker right in his face!!

    NOW COME ON UNITED!!!!!!

  43. B’pool-Bolton..cracker of a game!
    switchin tween the two.

  44. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    We need an early goal or this is going to wind me right up!

  45. PIG has been a fucking liability but, more to the point, why have we been so shit with the ball despite having tons of possession? One header that hit the bar and that’s all we have to show for in terms of chances created.

    Nani is a cunt. That first half exemplifies why he must not start against Barcelona.

    We better not fuck this up today. No excuses.

    Do we want to win the league or what? Wake up you shower of cunts.

  46. Should prolly change Kuszchak for Rob Green in summer?

  47. wtf?..the ref is blind!

  48. That’s better. 2nd half hairdryer still fresh in the overpaid fuckers ears.

  49. Poor play from Hernandez.

  50. Another good tackle from Carrick

    He’s been good so far

  51. sidney said:
    Another good tackle from Carrick

    He’s been good so far

    Yeah agreed. Tackling intercepting and distribution been spot on.

  52. Carrick is a useless drop of spunk

  53. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    sidney said:
    Another good tackle from Carrick

    He’s been good so far

    I’ve a feeling he might score today… he’s getting the space, and he seems to be looking to shoot.

  54. Scholes warming up to come on and then get sent off

  55. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    WAKE UP CUNTS

  56. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    I can see them scoring before we do FFS

  57. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    sidney said:
    Scholes warming up to come on and then get sent off

    I think he’s coming on for Valencia…

  58. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Anyone know the last time we scored off a corner?

  59. Pedersen will put lots of balls into the box and PIG is gonna flap about like a cunt

  60. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Blackburn are defending very well.

  61. B,burn are tottering..get a goal ffs

  62. Strange substitution.
    We don’t win the ball in the air do we.

  63. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Ferguson is going for it.

  64. Terrible ball from Scholes, almost landed us in it

  65. B,pool4:Bolton 3

  66. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    FFS… that didn’t take Scholes long.

  67. fffffssss get ya act together Utd

  68. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    What a day to have a mongo day!! Evra on and Berba

  69. It’s really strange that we didn’t start with Berba.
    He would lack in confidence which he badly needs.

  70. Should be 2-0

    Speechless

    We’re just shit

  71. We are playing utter shite just now there is no fucking urgency whatsoever

  72. For fuck sake, we are going down in this game.

  73. i still believe

  74. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    We need Berbs… Chico is never going to win a header against this mob.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  75. Pen!!!!!!!!

  76. Shit don’t give the penalty that’s a disgrace.

  77. Thank fuck for that now get the fucker in

  78. Clear pen

    Definite foul

  79. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Never a penalty.

  80. 250k a week

  81. Thank Fuck for that..wasn’t a Penalty tho..

  82. GETT INNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

  83. Get fucking in

  84. Hahaha thank you Paul Robinson. What a stupid penalty to give away.

  85. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    That’s the title…

    But that was never a penalty for me… all Chico did was kick the ball out.

  86. It’s not over by any fucking means

    We can easily leak another goal here

    Play it cool FFS give it to Scholes & Giggs

  87. Blog Commenter said:
    250k a week

    WTF ???

  88. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    That’s the title…
    But that was never a penalty for me… all Chico did was kick the ball out.

    Defo pen for me
    Robinson took the man and not the ball
    It’s not a goal scoring opportunity like, but he still takes the player out, so it’s a foul

  89. Wasn’t a pen. Tarnishes the 19th, that!

  90. bolluxs

  91. Fucking hell, great ball from Rooney

  92. i heard Madrid are offering 20mln for Sweet Pea; is it true?
    Do you think this influenced him before the game?

  93. Blog Commenter said:
    i heard Madrid are offering 20mln for Sweet Pea; is it true?
    Do you think this influenced him before the game?

    Fuck off

  94. arunk said:
    Wasn’t a pen. Tarnishes the 19th, that!

    Of FFS. Go join liveaid.

  95. second

  96. arunk said:
    Wasn’t a pen. Tarnishes the 19th, that!

    Fuck off

  97. Wonder if Mickey Owen is to get the champions’ medal..

  98. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    sidney said:
    Defo pen for me

    Robinson took the man and not the ball

    It’s not a goal scoring opportunity like, but he still takes the player out, so it’s a foul

    I know what you’re saying Sid… just not for me… the striker is racing to get to a ball he has no chance of doing anything with… except to look for the pen.

  99. Blog Commenter said:
    Wonder if Mickey Owen is to get the champions’ medal..

    What for? for absenteeism?

  100. sidney said:
    Fuck off

    Just want us to win the Prem without any controversy.

  101. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Big Bobby in the stands again.

    Not just a great player, but one of our greatest fans… I love it.

  102. arunk said:
    Just want us to win the Prem without any controversy.

    Who gives a fuck though

  103. We are United *kicks Arunk into pit*

  104. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    arunk said:
    Just want us to win the Prem without any controversy.

    With all the shit that’s happened this year?????????

    Not possible.

  105. sidney said:
    Who gives a fuck though

    The ABU lot!

  106. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    We’re playing a very stupid game if we think this is a finished draw… keep pressing for the win… that will finish it.

  107. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Come on united.

  108. is 1-1 against Blackburn enough for goodness sake?
    Stretford End was chanting ‘Attack, Attack, Attack’ in November.

  109. Finally playing like Arsenal. Lots of passing without going anywhere.

  110. arunk said:
    The ABU lot!

    Yeah, but, fuck ‘em

    Enjoy it FFS

  111. Oh ffs give the ball to the Ref

  112. Lol this is uncomfortable

    Both teams have settled for a point

  113. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Game over…

  114. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Just don’t pass it back to Kojak.

  115. ‘You are the next’ lol

    Attack Attack Attack spineless

  116. sidney said:
    Yeah, but, fuck ‘em

    Enjoy it FFS

    Oh I will. I have waited 34 years for this. Wanted us to do it in style. Maybe we should play Chelsea every week.

  117. Well done lads.

  118. Looks Down The East Lancs Road And Says “Number 19″

  119. u beauts
    love it
    love it

  120. Yeeessssssssssssssss

    19

  121. We are the best in the land!!!

  122. “Are you watchin Pool”

    …sweet!

    LKHF

    MUFC: THE RELIGION

  123. Congrats folks!
    Let’s hope Citeh do worse

  124. Now to root for Stoke! Lol!

  125. 19!!!! Sweet!!!! Champions!!! Congrats everyone. Feels fuckin great.

  126. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Rio singin…

    “We’ve got our trophy back, we’ve got our trophy back”…

    LOL…

    Wonder who he’s singin to…

  127. Cmon Stoke…..make my day!

  128. Hernandez speaks. Lol ariba ariba

  129. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    ANYONE who doesn’t think that was a penalty is quite frankly retarded and has no idea on the rules of football

    19!!!!!

    FUCK THE HATERS!!! CHAMPIONS!! CHAMPIONS!!

    FEELS GGOOOOOOOODDDDDD!!!!!!!!

  130. It might have been a penalty but running to the referees in crowd was disgraceful.
    Still at least they should passion for something which is good!

    Nineteen!!
    (And the record of minimum away wins too)

  131. FFS bri.. read up on the foul rules, the ball kicked out of the game, then Robinson took Chico down, he couldn’t have stopped himself anyhow.
    So fook it
    19!!!!!!

  132. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Spike said:
    FFS bri.. read up on the foul rules, the ball kicked out of the game, then Robinson took Chico down, he couldn’t have stopped himself anyhow.
    So fook it
    19!!!!!!

    So ALL the panel on sky sports are saying the same but WE’RE all wrong!

  133. Thank God we got the job done. Now these players need a proper rest ahead of Barcelona.

    Relegation battle will be interesting next week. Blackpool pretty much need to beat us to have any hope of staying up. I will be so happy to see West Ham scum go down. Horrible club, horrible fans, etc.

  134. My day will be complete with Stoke lifting the FA Cup.

  135. loving it… beers opened.. move on to the whiskey if stoke do it…

  136. Caol Isla all the way!
    ICUMFIGOVAN, have it you Kenny the Queen

  137. brianofnazareth said:
    So ALL the panel on sky sports are saying the same but WE’RE all wrong!

    FFS, since when did you get your knowledge from overpaid wankers on the telly?
    The ball was miles away when Robinson brought down Chico, Chico kicked it out himself, so Robinson couldn’t get the ball and neither could he have stopped himself from colliding into Chico, most Ref’s side with the Goalie in such situations, as you well know. The Ref gave a easy Pen….and we all know it!

  138. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Get in, 19. Have a good day everyone.

  139. baggio365 says:

    champions…and that a fact

  140. i’d rather walk alone 19 times definitely

  141. Told you we wouldn’t win this match. Had draw written all over it months ago.

    Just 5 away wins… but 17 home wins – maybe 18 if we beat Blackpool

    Phenomenal

  142. we would have won it if we needed too. end of the game was a farce really

  143. Still at work and so have not seen the pen. Do I care? Not a jot. We have won. Chelsea needed a dodgy offside decision to beat us and win the title last season – does anyone remember it? Nope.

    Therefore, Congratulations people. We have more games, scored more goals and have a better GD than anyone else; 6 defeats in 57 games in ALL competition and in the Champions League final. We are deservedly champions. The ABUs and the London press can go to hell.

  144. 1 thing that i just can’t work out is the away form in the league this season – it is not abysmal but hardly worth writing home about and yet in europe, SAF had it worked out beautifully; i know teams will attack more on their own turf but 5 victories out of 19 away is perplexing
    oh well, i’m not complaining, just bemused

  145. As far as the PL is concerned my take is that it is because we do not have proper ball winners in midfield. In the PL you have to be able to battle first to be able to get through the home side no matter their position.

    In Europe there is not as much physical challenges to get through; you just play your way into domination.

    Who cares anyway, we are CHAMPIONS!!!

  146. what a dick…..

  147. Yep he’d better tattoo it – and the badge for that matter

  148. damian garside says:

    Congrats everyone. Party hard. Hope we secure the double in brilliant fashion. And the Charity Shield match next year is with City (will be great to beat them in this). This the year that the city of Manchester wins practically everything?

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