Fergie says Reds will match Barça. How?

Lionel Messi, Barcelona

Sir Alex Ferguson has once again challenged his players to match Barcelona, with Manchester United facing the European champions in Washington on Saturday night. Just 63 days after the humiliating defeat by the Catalans at Wembley the question, with six senior players having left the club and no new central midfielder on the horizon, is […]

Barça transfer carousel impacts Red priorities

Cesc Fabregas

The futures of Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez and Samir Nasri will be clarified in the coming weeks, with much riding on the ever entertaining internal politics at Barcelona. The heavily indebted European champion claims to have a summer transfer budget of just €40 million, but with a deal for Sanchez still on the agenda and […]

One week on: Reds take no pride from Euro final

Barcelona

It has been nearly a week since Sir Alex Ferguson’s team lost comprehensively to a Barcelona side hailed as ‘the best of a generation’. Although credit is due to Pep Guardiola’s truly magnificent Barça side, which illustrates just why total football is no longer a utopian concept, it can also be said that United rarely […]

Gill promises investment as Reds aim to close Barça gap

Lionel Messi

Manchester United’s thumping defeat to Barcelona on Saturday night threatened to spoil the Reds’ victory parade through the city today. Even so around 150,000 lined Manchester’s streets for the party, which celebrated a 19th domestic title, if not the European Cup. Yet, as United’s supporters delight in another Premier League triumph – the 12th of […]

Morning after the night before

Wetherspoon's Finchley Road

Time heals but a second resounding defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League final is a pain that will not subside easily; the heavy hearts hardly aided by a collective hangover. Thousands gathered, both at Wembley and in bars, clubs and hotels across Manchester and the country. Indeed, thousands of Reds descended on London, whether they […]

Champions League Final 2011: preview

Pep Guardiola, Alex Ferguson

When Sir Alex Ferguson delivered his now infamous Pacino-esque half-time eulogy deep in the bowel’s of Camp Nou’s ‘home’ dressing room during the 1999 final, he told his startled players that six feet may be the closest they ever got to ‘ol big ears, the Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens. As startlingly brilliant his 1999 […]

Champions League Final 2011: former Red Piqué, now central to Barça’s cause

Gerard Pique

When Gerard Piqué told Sir Alex Ferguson that he was leaving Old Trafford in summer 2008 the Scot’s anger almost prevented the £5 million transfer to Barcelona. Piqué, thought Ferguson, had gone behind his Manchester United manager’s back to secure a move ‘home’. The incident very nearly ended the deal. Ferguson relented and three years […]

Champions League Final 2011: Fergie’s selection dilemma

Manchester United’s chances of beating Barcelona in next weekend’s Champions League final may come down to Sir Alex Ferguson’s selections in two or three key positions. Indeed, the Scot’s deployment of Javier Hernández, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher and Park Ji-Sung could decide whether United takes or concedes the initiative at Wembley; perhaps even if the […]

Champions League final 2011: tactical preview

Alex Ferguson

With the Champions League final approaching, Sir Alex Ferguson must find answers to several key tactical questions ahead of the game at Wembley next weekend – from Manchester United’s formation, to dealing with Barcelona’s plethora of attacking options. In the first of a week-long series of build up articles, Rant’s Jay Shon looks at the […]