Villa in town as Reds seek eight point lead



Manchester United defends a five point Premier League lead tonight with Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson’s outfit could move up to eight points clear with Arsenal also in action on a busy night in the Premier League.

Ferguson can boast a virtually fully fit squad, with most leading lights returning to the side following United’s victory over Southampton in the FA Cup last week. In addition to rested stars, injured defenders Rio Ferdinand and Rafael da Silva are fit to return, while Michael Carrick will feature if an ankle problem has cleared sufficiently. Patrice Evra also returns following a short trip back to France for a family bereavement.

United faces a Villa side with renewed confidence after the £24 million capture of Darren Bent and three wins on the bounce. And without a victory over Villa in the past three meetings between the sides, United is set for another close encounter with the Midlanders.

Ferguson is set to reunite Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in attack, with each experiencing deeply contrasting fortunes this season. While the Bulgarian has now bagged 19 goals, with a brace against Blackpool last week, Rooney has just one strike from open play this season.

It’s a fact that does not sit comfortably with Ferguson though.

“Some of our critics are making a meal out of the fact that Wayne Rooney is lagging behind in the goal stakes. He is, compared with the bucketload he scored last year, but I am not worried,” said the United manager.

“It is the scoring partnership that matters and the combination between our two front men has improved beyond all recognition. Last year, Wayne benefited from Dimitar’s work but this year it is Berbatov enjoying the last touch.

“If we finish the season with Berbatov scoring 30 and Wayne on 10 – and those are the targets I have in mind – I will be more than happy. That is what I call a successful strike partnership, reminiscent of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.”

Chalkboard versus Aston VillaStill, Ferguson must decide whether to stick with his misfiring £30 million striker or bring Javier Hernandez into the side. The 22-year-old Mexican has scored 11 goals in just 12 starts this season, including vital goals against Blackpool and Southampton in the past week. Although Rooney is favourite to start, the Ferguson has never been afraid to drop his leading stars in the relentless drive for success. Indeed, it is arguable whether Rooney merits a place in the side on current form irrespective of whether Hernandez starts or not.

It is this outlook underpins United success under the Scot’s management over the past quarter century says Ferdinand, with the Reds coming from behind to win twice in the past week.

“You never lose faith when you play for Manchester United,” Ferdinand told The Sun.

“It’s in our make-up the game’s not over until the final whistle has blown and until then you try your hardest.

“If you do that week in, week out, you get a bit of luck and you get your rewards. It comes from the manager – he has got that desire and will to win.

“He’s been here 25 years and if he’s still got it, then why haven’t players who have only been here for a year, two years, 10 years, whatever?

“So it comes from him and filters down through the club and that’s always the way it’s been. That’s why you see it so often that we can come back from adverse situations and create results like we did against Blackpool.”

Meanwhile, Villa will give a late fitness test to Agbonlahor, with the striker suffering a minor hamstring strain. Defender Nathan Baker is suspended, while Fabian Delph has a knee injury. New signing Michael Bradley could play following a deadline day transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach.

Darren Bent return’s the the squad after missing last week’s FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers.

Despite Villa’s lowly position in the Premier League under-fire manager Gerard Houllier says his team can with at Old Trafford.

“We’re capable of beating any team,” said Houllier.

“We need to take our hats off to the record so far of Manchester United – to stay undefeated for that many games. They’re impressive.

“They were impressive when we played them. It was a thrilling game. The way they came back into the game – I think the goal from Federico Macheda changed everything because it brought a spark of hope. If we’d have been able to hold another ten minutes it would have been different.

“I wish I could play as badly as they do and have the same record! People say that but when they played well they battered Birmingham 5-0, Blackburn 7-1. I hope they don’t play well then!”

While another cricket score seems unlikely, with Villa’s record at Old Trafford respectable in recent years, Ferguson will take any victory and a vital three points in the title race. Indeed, with Chelsea spending more than £70 million on transfer deadline day in a desperate attempt to clam back lost points, Ferguson will be keen to ram home United’s advantage.

Opposition
Villa – 433 – Friedel; Clark, Cuellar, Collins, Walker; Petrov, Reo-Coker, Bannan; Albrighton, Bent, Young. Subs from: Bradley, Marshall, Downing, Delfouneso, Heskey, Pires, Makoun, Agbonlahor.

United
United – 442 – van der Sar; Rafael da Silva, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs; Rooney, Berbatov. Subs from: Kuzszazk, Evans, Brown, Gibson, Owen, Bébé, Lindegaard, Fabio da Silva, O’Shea, Carrick, Anderson, Obertan, Hernández, Smalling.

Officials
Referee: Chris Foy
Assistant referees: Dean Mohareb & Glenn Turner
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

Form
United – WWWWWW
Villa – LWDWWW

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Comments

  1. Good record against em..means nowt nowadays, happy with 3 points anyway.

  2. Dinkinflicker says:

    I can see us dropping points tonight unfortunately.

  3. Its tricky to think how this match is gonna pan out,with us blowing hot and cold all season.
    The way I feel right now, a draw would be a satisfactory result, that cant be correct to think like that.Jaysus we are at home, we should be mullering a team like Villa.
    Lets just hope we get a Blackburn/Birmingham type performance,and put the Villians to the sword.
    I think and believe if for any reason we take a beating tonight,Sir Alex’s words in support of Rooney are going to fall on deaf ears,and he is going to take a right royal pasting everywhere.
    Cmon United.

  4. Fucking Sheasy

  5. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    scholesless team = 0-0

  6. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    actually benty will score

    away win for houllier at ot again

    0-1 murphy pen

  7. pleased with the team sheet
    should be a good game with villa on the up
    need to win
    come on united

  8. Man Utd: Van der Sar, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney.

    Subs: Lindegaard, Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Hernandez, Scholes, Fabio Da Silva.

    Carrick & Fletcher in midfield

    It’s all got to come from Giggs, again

  9. no gibson – not even on the bench?
    maybe the penny has finally dropped with SAF?

  10. 3-0.

  11. Bardsley scores for Sunderland 1-0 Chelsea

  12. shrek needs a couple of goals to settle him into this season
    i have a feeling he will get 1 tonight

  13. rooooooooooooooooooooooooooney
    fucking hell

  14. Live link ups to other games too. Chel just equalized…

  15. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    scholesless team = 0-0

    Nahh… we’ll do ‘em large…

    4-0

  16. VDS—Rooooooooooo

  17. ROOOOOONEY!

  18. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Commentators are gutted we have scored early, it’s like a funeral

  20. nani should have done better just then

  21. lolollol

    come on Rooney!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Anyone got a working stream chaps?

  23. Sunderland 1-2 Chelsea

  24. come on united
    build on the good start

  25. Arsenal 0-1 Everton

  26. anyone got an english stream working please ??

  27. sahahahahaha for everton

  28. Sunderland 2-2 Chelsea

    Fucking hell

  29. 2-2 at stadium of shite
    bentley boy
    ffs all the united old boys helping out
    come on the reds

  30. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Unregistered User said:
    Anyone got a working stream chaps?

    Sopcast 82153

  31. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Sopcast 82153

    tks mate

  32. Saha, Richardson and Bardsley continue their work as undercover agents!

  33. If that’s not a penalty then Raf’s wasn’t the other week against Blackpool

  34. need to up the tempo

  35. should have made it 2
    that bald cunt saved again

  36. come on united

  37. Good football

    Class shot from Nani telling the K Stand to ave it

  38. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Just got in hi Han , good start, how we doing.

  39. hi mad red
    brilliant start – shrek scored after 1 min
    gone a bit quiet in the last 10 mins though

  40. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    come on united, thanks Han.

  41. should really be turning the screw against these brummies – no offence mad red

  42. Why is Anderson benched nowadays

  43. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    han said:
    should really be turning the screw against these brummies – no offence mad red

    no offence,Han i hate villa.

  44. come on anderson – have a decent game tonight

  45. Fucking hate Downing

    Cunt’s got an attitude problem, like Gibson

  46. come on reds
    get one more before h/t

  47. come on let’s get another this half. Nice effort by Nani, but I hope we won’t regret these saves.

  48. nearly there again
    bald cunt saves again
    fuck off friedegghead

  49. Brad Freakal always has a monster of a game against us, yankee baldy cunt

  50. friedel nearly always plays a blinder against us
    good goalie
    cunt

  51. fucking hell danni
    great minds think alike

  52. lol – just you and me in the Anderson, Gibson fanclub I think

  53. the game is there for the winning
    up the tempo a little reds

  54. danniitronix said:
    lol – just you and me in the Anderson, Gibson fanclub I think

    there are plenty more but just too shy to say i guess

  55. good contribution Ando; foul, ffs.

  56. han said:
    there are plenty more but just too shy to say i guess

    look, I don’t want to get in the way of you and Madred

  57. Roooneyyyyy

    Game over

  58. 1 min added time?
    shittttttttttttttttt
    rooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooney

  59. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  60. danniitronix said:
    look, I don’t want to get in the way of you and Madred

    no no no
    3 some is cool
    plus i love ur name……….

  61. incredible cross by Nani

  62. Perfect pass…then Rooo…about time he got his scoring boots on.

  63. Brilliant ball from Nani

  64. Good to see the Roonster getting goals again long may he continue

  65. Genius – Ronaldo-esque cross and cool finish from Rooney.

    Rooney is BACK.

  66. needed the 2nd goal
    could really give them an arse toasting 2nd half if the lads are up for it

  67. han said:
    no no no
    3 some is cool
    plus i love ur name……….

    he may attack me with his Madred Cock. Me scared.

    once again 2-0 – YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  68. shrek for the hat trick anyone?

  69. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    danniitronix said:
    look, I don’t want to get in the way of you and Madred

    always room for one more ha Han

  70. if the scores stay the same in all the other games – perfect evening

  71. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    just what we needed just before halftime, Rooney is he returning to his best?

  72. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    han said:
    if the scores stay the same in all the other games – perfect evening

    fingers crossed

  73. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    danniitronix said:
    he may attack me with his Madred Cock. Me scared.

    once again 2-0 – YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    how did you know i had a cock, lol ,his name is twat because he is always up it.

  74. madredmonkey said:
    always room for one more ha Han

    aye especially the tronixxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  75. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

  76. ffs

    Spike said:
    encore

    http://veetle.com/index.php/channel/view#4d454f2b2e75e

    without doubt the best stream – awesome you otherwise good for nothing german sausage

  77. want a 3rd
    put them to bed

  78. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    come on now united finish the game off, be ruthless.

  79. han said:
    aye especially the tronixxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    OK, let me shave my arse

  80. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    danniitronix said:
    OK, let me shave my arse

    kinky,

  81. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    cry baby scored for chelsea. 2-3

    MANCHESTER IS MY HEAVEN- SIR MATT BUSBY

  82. come on united

  83. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    O’Shea, you fucking oaf!

  84. arse equalize

  85. get a 3rd reds
    give the ball to berbs

  86. Awful freekick

    That’s why we can get away with playing O’Shea against Villa

  87. fucking hell reds

  88. make it difficult ffs

  89. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    FUCK!

  90. come on united

  91. 58 minutes in and its finally competitive

  92. cunt

  93. careless
    come on united

  94. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    come on united.

  95. vidAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  96. fucking beauty
    vidaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  97. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    vida

  98. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Vidic……………… get in!

  99. that was a lovely strike by the terminator

  100. STREAM IS FUCKED GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  101. crap, Arsenal and the Chavs are both winning now. I wish the arse would drop points.

  102. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Giggs has had a great game.

  103. 3 minutes later we score

    We literally decided to score. For 3 minutes after they scored we played with more urgency; started fighting, tackling, heads up straight away etc.

    In the palm of our hand

  104. ffs watching this in Rusky now

    come on sunderland and saha

  105. united inviting villa in again
    put ur foot down reds and get a 4th and let us enjoy the game

  106. sidney said:
    3 minutes later we score

    We literally decided to score. For 3 minutes after they scored we played with more urgency; started fighting, tackling, heads up straight away etc.

    In the palm of our hand

    agreed – we basically pulled our fist out of our shit encrusted arse and started to tackle in midfield

  107. berba absolutely not slowing game down today – completly confuses the fuck out of the opposition

  108. whats everyone eating tonight – had a jecket potato with cheese, tuna and some beans with dash of tabaso. old skool but still good.

  109. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Nani… fuck off you fuckin pussy!

  110. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Pizza… lovely.

  111. What a wasted free kick

  112. send on sweet pea for the last 15 mins
    rooney to stay on
    berbs off

  113. am off the pizza at the moment – supposed to be doing a 10k run in April so need to stop being a fat ass = hence sensible potato strategy. love pizza though – mmmmmmmmmm

  114. unlucky roons

  115. unlucky Roo – that;s much more like it – he looks as if he is enjoying the game finally

  116. fuck off young with your gayboy snood, scarve what the fuck

  117. hernandez or owen

  118. or both?

  119. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Nani…………………….. what a selfish fuck head!

  120. berba???????????????
    oh come on

  121. berbs you TWAT

  122. score united ffs

  123. unlucky berba

  124. Giggs is playing left back

  125. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Good performance… Rooney back in the goals…

    Giggs was excellent.

    Alf happy!

  126. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    great result, could have been a banana skin fixture, but we played well and easily won, nice.

  127. job done nicely
    5 home games left though
    lets hope united can produce more of the same on their travels

  128. Friedel…saved en from a thrashing…amazing goalie

  129. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    later everyone , enjoy the evening,

  130. han said:
    job done nicely
    5 home games left though
    lets hope united can produce more of the same on their travels

    6 innit, and 8 away

    But aye, it’s time to nail the away form

  131. later guys – good win – media practically praying for us to fuck up

  132. sidney said:
    6 innit, and 8 away

    But aye, it’s time to nail the away form

    yes Sid
    cheers
    the beers doing funny things to the maths…….

  133. Most original song by away fans coming to Old Trafford…

    (To the tune of ‘we won it 2 times’):

    I wanna go home
    I wanna go home
    Manchester’s a shithole
    I wanna go home

    …an irony lost on the dirty Brummie wankers. The song did make me smile, though.

  134. herbie simms says:

    Great cross from Nani. When Valencia comes back on that right wing, you will see more goals from Rooney. Everton really blew it. If Arsenal would have lost that game, United would have been 8 points clear and the league title in the bag. But Arsenal have a tough game away coming up and I’m sure we will destroy Wolves, so by the weekend, we could be 8 points clear.

  135. good enough performance.
    rooney and nani were very good. giggs was outstanding.

  136. arse don’t start the traditional collapse until after march
    however with park due back soon and valencia, much injected vigour in midfield and on the flank will come

  137. kramer said:
    good enough performance.
    rooney and nani were very good. giggs was outstanding.

    Giggs was sensational! Nani is our man and am certain that we are about to start getting better. Carrick won a few 50-50 tackles and was really up for it. What a strike from Vida though. Rooney scoring twice is a big bonus and hopefully he will carry on from here.

    Chelsea really believe they can rein us in so we must not give them an opening.

  138. Some people think berba slows our attacks down. If anyone was showing out attacks down last night it was carrick. He didn’t have terrible game but he doesn’t offer us anything offensively. Villa sae plenty of the ball and our midfield didn’t have the finesse to get it off them and do something with it.

  139. Unregistered User said:
    Some people think berba slows our attacks down. If anyone was showing out attacks down last night it was carrick. He didn’t have terrible game but he doesn’t offer us anything offensively. Villa sae plenty of the ball and our midfield didn’t have the finesse to get it off them and do something with it.

    =======================================================================================

    Thats Carricks problem though. He shows no aggression what so ever. He’s quite happy to avoid any physical contact and just spray the odd ball around, well the english leagues are full of players that can do what Carrick does. His lack of desire and infectious lethargy seems to rub off on the likes of Fletcher, who does’nt mind putting himself about now and again. I’ve always looked upon Carrick as a passenger, and don’t rate him. I fail to see what he has ever offerd us. Goals, no. Inspiration, no. Leader, no. He’s the most negative midfielder i can ever recall us having, possibly since Butch.

  140. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Calvino said:
    Giggs was sensational! Nani is our man and am certain that we are about to start getting better. Carrick won a few 50-50 tackles and was really up for it. What a strike from Vida though. Rooney scoring twice is a big bonus and hopefully he will carry on from here.

    Chelsea really believe they can rein us in so we must not give them an opening.

    Cal serious question do you think we should give Giggs another year? he is clearly one of our best midfielders!

  141. brianofnazareth said:
    Cal serious question do you think we should give Giggs another year? he is clearly one of our best midfielders!

    ========================================================================================

    It all depends on if we can off load the likes of Carrick and Anderson Bri. Your right that Giggs is playing well, and whilst our centre mid is seriously sluggish, Fergie has to keep a bit of fizz on the side with the likes of Giggsy and Scholses. Because we don’t really have any other outlet to get the ball forward. Fletch is Fletch, Ando is 2 stone over weight and Carrick thinks the opponents half of the pitch is ladened with claymore land mines so does’nt go there. Thats why Giggs and Scholes have been key because they have the intelligence and the know how. The others simply don’t.

    We are going to need a full revamp of our midfield in the summer.

    Carrick, Anderson, and Hargreaves should be off loaded and replaced without delay.

  142. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Calvino said:
    Giggs was sensational! Nani is our man and am certain that we are about to start getting better. Carrick won a few 50-50 tackles and was really up for it. What a strike from Vida though. Rooney scoring twice is a big bonus and hopefully he will carry on from here.

    Chelsea really believe they can rein us in so we must not give them an opening.

    Nani still pisses me off… one minute he’s brilliant, providing an outstanding cross for Rooneys’ second… and the next, he’s refusing the simple, killer pass in favour of a run to nothing… or falling down like a big fairy.

    And we’ve still got to play the Renties twice… we must win one of those.

  143. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Nani still pisses me off… one minute he’s brilliant, providing an outstanding cross for Rooneys’ second… and the next, he’s refusing the simple, killer pass in favour of a run to nothing… or falling down like a big fairy.

    And we’ve still got to play the Renties twice… we must win one of those.

    yep, same as Ronnie before him – he will be more consistent and intelligent with timr

  144. Dinkinflicker says:

    I thought Carrick had a decent game last night to be fair.

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