Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Reds shine against Kiev but Anderson is the brightest star...

United went into their Champions League game with Dynamo Kiev knowing that victory would more or less secure their place in the knockout stages of the competition. Paul Scholes missed the game due to sustaining a knee injury and Patrice Evra pulled a muscle in the pre-match warm up.

Despite hinting that he would return at the weekend, Owen Hargreaves didn't figure in Fergie's squad for a game that turned out to be something of a walk in the park. For their part Dynamo looked demoralised and out of sorts, they have already sacked one manager this season, and going off Kiev's performance against United it wont be the last.

The hosts afforded the visitors time and space and when you do that against players of the quality of United then eventually you will pay the price and that is precisely what happened with the Reds rattling in three goals before half time.

It was all very nice to watch, Ronaldo's header in the first half was the pick of the United goals, it came after Giggs evaded the attentions of two defenders to pick out the footballer of the year who scored with a towering and well timed header which left the keeper helplessly rooted to his goal-line.

Before that Ronaldo goal, United had raced into a two-nil lead courtesy of another headed goal by Rio Ferdinand on eight minutes from another cross by Giggs, then Wazza Rooney doubled United's lead on 18 minutes with a tap-in, which had a hint of offside about it.

Just when we Reds looked like they'd take full advantage of Kiev's generosity, United's back four were found wanting from a corner when John O'Shea totally lost Rincon who scored with a well timed header on 33 minutes.

The Kiev goal did not stem the flow of United attacks with Anderson in particular standing out as the Reds star performer. The little Brazilian was popping up all over the field, one minute he was defending deep and running the ball to safety, the next he was supporting the attack and spraying passes to the front three. The former Porto star very nearly scored himself - if he had it would have been richly deserved for a man of the match winning performance.

Ronaldo effectively killed the game off on 68 minutes from the penalty-spot before Bangoura scored a late consolation goal from distance.

The partnership of Rooney and Tevez looks better by the game and Ronaldo is starting to spark and United have Hargreaves, Carrick and Saha to call upon. All of a sudden things are really looking good for the Reds, the questions about why the goals had dried up have all been forgotten with Fergie's side finding their attacking collective stride, in short normal service has been resumed.

Paul Scholes is a new injury concern, but United do have cover and so even if he's out for a few weeks, his loss wont be too much of a setback.

On this form it will take a very good team to knock United out of Europe and some Reds are already genuinely talking about making plans for Moscow next May.

Final score Kiev 2-4 United

3 comments:

  1. The likes of Anderson and Nani have to take such chances if they are to survive at Manutd.

    I would like us to try out Anderson/Carrick - Hargreave pairing to see how it works. Old Man Scholes should be rested.

    Lets not get ahead of ourselves, take it one step at a time, we play arsenal and see how that goes then proceed talking moscow rite now mmmh! you remind me of luis Hamilton

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  2. Realistically.. our best midfield pairing once they've had a good run of games.. would be in my opinion: Hargreaves & Anderson! They are both powerful, fit, strong tacklers,extremely quick, great vision, can score goals (even though not got off the mark yet).. This is obviously in the long term.. But going forward this option certainly needs to be tried and tested!

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  3. hahah, well said faustine, we should most certainly not get ahead of ourselves, given the long string of 1-0s we have proven that we can perform at, most of the victories, although in matches of a significant amount of pressure, are against middle ranking teams, and the one team in form we have played, Manchester City, beat us 1-0, the victory against chelsea, however admirable, was against a team in shambles having lost a manager recently, it would have been surprising if we had not managed to win that, Moscow's ticket is not in our hands just yet, its far from being so, as faustine said, we need to see how we play the big clubs, the in-form clubs, the 'champions'to decide.

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