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Manchester United Edge Arsenal in Champions League Semifinal First Leg

The game was not a typical Manchester United – Arsenal game that we have come to expect from the both teams. It was a rather quiet game with Manchester United edging out the win thanks to a goal from the unsung hero John O Shea. Before the game, Sir Alex has said that he will take a 1 – 0, but after this performance, he would be rather disappointed that they couldn’t score more goal. Arsenal will be a bit pleased as they rarely threatened but the defended properly and some good goal keeping from Almunia made sure that the score was 1 – 0 and not worse.

O Shea scoring

Sir Alex preferred Berbatov over Tevez this time, probably to show Tevez that he can also start important games and make him stay at Old Trafford. United nearly found the goal in opening minute when a looping header from Rooney was well saved by Almunia. Then Tevez was guilty of missing a sitter but thankfully O Shea scored from the resulting corner. In the midfield, the young duo Fletcher and Anderson did well and showed fantastic energy. Another good chance fell to Ronaldo but he shot straight at the keeper. Arsenal finally got a bit settled late on in the first half but they hardly threatened and were mostly on the backfoot.

Arsenal started with only Adebayor as a lone forward and he hardly looked convincing as he was not getting any service from the midfield. Arsenal did but up some good passes but they lacked in the final third of the pitch. Late in the second half, Manchester United brought on Giggs for Anderson and Berbatov for Tevez. The argentine was shaking his head as he was substituted but he got a standing ovation from the crowd who were shouting his name and asking Ferguson to sign him. This might be a much talked about thing whether Tevez will stay or not. Giggs came on for his 800th appearance but he was unable to make much of an impact.

Ronaldo showed his skill when he unleashed a dipping shot from 30 yards. Almunia was helpless but the ball crashed against the crossbar and went out. United did carry forward there attack but they couldn’t find the break through. Credit must be given to O Shea who celebrates his 28th birthday tomorrow. He has been such a loyal player to Manchester United. He has not been a regular but he has always played his part when he gets his chance due to any injury problems. His versatility is excellent, he can play as right back, left back, central defender or even in midfield. He may have scored only the 15th goal of his career but such an important goal this is. The game is not decided right now but Arsenal know that they have to score 2 goals past Manchester United to win and that is not easy. And if Man Utd manage to get an away goal, things will be much difficult.

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Barcelona and Chelsea Play a stalemate

After watching two amazing games during the previous Tuesday Night’s which finished at 4 – 4, i was also having some high expectation from this game. It was a bit of a shock to see this game finish without any goals. With the quality of players Barcelona have, i was expecting them to at least score a goal. Even Lionel Messi didn’t look like a similar player he is.

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But credit must be given to Chelsea defence and especially Peter Cech. Barcelona had some good possession throughout the match but they found it hard to break the Chelsea defence. They had a couple of decent chances but Cech was alert every time. Dani Alves was a constant threat from the right. Barcelona might feel they could have got a goal had Bojan not missed a very easy chance. For Chelsea it was a draw well deserved though Drogba may have opened the score sheet if he had capitalized on the mistake. It is too early to say who will win. It is all the pay for in Stamford Bridge. But the confidence is with Chelsea now after there good defensive performance and they are always a solid unit at home. And they also were the first team this season to prevent Barcelona from scoring at home.

I feel the second leg will be very crucial. It will be all about who scores the first goal.

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Ryan Giggs Get PFA Player of the Year Award

Giggs

Ryan Giggs has won the Professional Footballer’s Association Player of the Year Award. It may seem surprising but this is the first time he has won the award in his illustrious career. Most of the contenders for the award were his United team mates including Cristiano Roanldo, Nemanja Vidic, Van Der Sar, Rio Ferdinand and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard.

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Rampant Manchester United Defeat Tottenham after Amazing Comeback

Man Utd Celebrate

A resurgent second half performance from Manchester United saw them come back from two goals down and beat Tottenham Spurs 5 – 2 to stay on top of the table and continue there pursuit of the Premiership Title. In the earlier kick off, Liverpool kept the pressure on Manchester United after beating Hull City. It looked like the Premiership Race will be thrown wide open as Tottenham took an early 2 – 0 lead in the first half. But United had shown this season that they can not be counted out so soon. And they went on a rampage in the second half and destroyed Tottenham 5 – 3.

United started with a strong Line up with Ferdinand and Berbatov back into the squad. Manchester United started brightly as they pushed forward for an early goal. Tottenham first real chance came for Darren Bent after he was picked out at the far post but his header was saved by Van Der Sar. United had a couple of decent chances with Rooney and Ronaldo going close but it was Tottenham who took the lead. Vidic and Ferdinand failed to clear a Corluka cross from the left and it fell to Bent who smashed home the opener. And things got worse for United after two minutes as an Aaron Lennon cross from the left found Luka Modric who chested the ball before firing in Tottenham’s second.

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Manchester United Go Back on top of EPL after beating Portsmouth

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An early goal from Rooney and a late goal from Carrick was enough for United to get a victory over Portsmouth and send them to the top of the table. United had a host of chances after the Rooney goal but they were let down in there finishing. A late goal from Carrick secured the three points for United. Now they are three points above Liverpool with a game in hand.

United made nine changes to the team that lost to Everton in the FA Cup Semi-final with Ronaldo, Rooney, Scholes, Giggs back in the starting line up with Scholes starting his 600th United game. Portsmouth had the better of the opening minutes as they started dominating possession. But that didn’t last long as United took the lead when a long pass from Anderson found Giggs who got into the box and passed the ball to Rooney for a simple tap in. United soon found there rhythm and they soon started creating chances with Rooney and Giggs playing an important role. Anderson had a good chance afterwards but he shot inches wide. United nearly scored again when a Giggs corner was headed by O Shea but it was cleared off the line.

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Liverpool 4 – 4 Arsenal : Premiership Classic

If you have any doubts why Premier League is the  best league in the world, then all those doubts would have been gone if you have checked out this match. The match had all the ingredients of a classic and till the final whistle, you couldn’t tell which team will win the match.

Liverpool knew they needed to win the match to put pressure on Manchester United as the title race gets nearer to the end. They were without Steven Gerrard but they still started strongly against an Arsenal side who had some young players. Arsenal were missing Adebayor and Van Persie and had the young Lukas Fabianski in the goal. It soon became evident that they were in for a busy evening as Liverpool started attacking from the beginning with Torres terrorizing the defence with his skill. Liverpool tested Fabianski on various occasions but they young keeper looked fired up for the occasion. They way they were playing, it looked a matter of time before Liverpool will score but it was Arsenal who took the breakthrough on 36th minute. Mascherano gave the ball away to  Nasri who beautifully passed to Fabregas who set up Arshavin to score the opener.

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