Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Saha miss leaves United on the brink of disaster..

For the second time in two years United are facing up to the possibility of being dumped out of the Champions League without making it into the knock-out stages of Europe's premier club competition after Celtic snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at Parkhead on Tuesday night courtesy of a 1-0 victory.

Other than an 89th minute penalty miss by Louis Saha, United didn't do that much wrong on the night, the game hinged on two big decisions, the referee's decision to award Celtic a dubious late second half free-kick which Nakamura struck home superbly. United had been served fair warning about Nakamura's ability from free kicks in the first leg and last night United restricted Celtic to just one direct effort on goal from dead ball situations, but the reds paid the price - though it was a contentious award as was the decision to give United the late penalty.

While United dominated the possession they failed to really open up Celtic, Giggs and Saha were poor in the second half, to their credit Celtic fought like tigers at the back.

United now need to take a point off Benfica, if they lose then they are out of the Champions League and then questions will be asked about Fergie's decision to rest key players against FC Copenhagen in the away leg.

Also of concern for United fans will be what happens this weekend against Chelsea. Saha in particular looks to have gone off the boil just at the wrong time - this again illustrates United's lack of strength in depth, because the manager has no choice but to stick with the Frenchman. The last time we played Celtic in the following game we faced Arsenal at home - and lost 0-1, Fergie blamed it on the players being tired following the Celtic game, so what will happen this weekend?

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