Tuesday, March 04, 2008

United to bank on Iron Curtain to keep Moscow hopes alive...

If Manchester United are to reach this year's Champions League final in May, then they will have to keep Karim Benzema quiet tonight when Lyon are the visitors to Old Trafford. The concern for Ferguson is the French striker has already notched against the Reds in the first-leg in a manner which suggests that there's an awful lot more to come from a player who is being courted by Europe's top clubs including the Red Devils.

Benzema has a bit of everything, and for once it looks like the hype surrounding a potential transfer target is justified, he appears to be the real deal. Despite the wealth of talent at the club United do not have a striker who poses the same threat when deployed on his own up front. At Monday's pre-match press conference Fergie said "Benzema plays as a lone striker and he's a goal threat because of that." Conversely, one could have asked the United manager if Rooney plays up front on his own will he pose more of a threat? The answer to that question is an emphatic no, which only serves to highlight a slight weakness in the current squad.

The United manager went to say that the Lyon striker scored a goal out of nothing, which is true - he could have scored more goals against the Reds in that opening leg of this tie. It is therefore vital that everyone in that United team does their defensive duties to a man against Lyon and that includes the likes of Ronaldo and Rooney, but above all others Vidic and Ferdinand will be told that they must ensure Benzema is not allowed to once again breach the Reds Iron Curtain otherwise hopes of another European Cup final could well lay in tatters as has happened too many times in the past.

Come tomorrow; let's hope all the headlines are about Rooney and Ronaldo driving the Reds a bit further down the road that leads to Moscow.

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