Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pompey fail to turn up as Reds secure the Shield...

As pre-season warm-up games go, it was decent work-out for both United and Portsmouth, but as a contest the holders had by far the better of things with Pompey looking decidedly lacklustre in midfield and up front.

Despite the Reds almost total domination of the ball it was a game of few clear cut chances. Darren Fletcher was guilty of missing the game's best opportunity when he somehow failed to convert Nani's first-half low driven cross from just nine yards out with the net gaping at his mercy. The pundits have jokingly described Fletcher's effort as "the miss of the season" so far, but he very nearly made amends when forcing David James to make a fingertip save not long after.

This traditional curtain raiser to the new season had been billed as "Respect" day by the FA, but the referee Mr Walton did his level best to test the patience of the United players and manager when refusing the Reds a cast-iron second-half penalty when Hermann Hreidarsson wrestled Carlos Tevez to the ground in a manner more befitting to WWE - it's doubtful you'll see a more blatant penalty this season. Mr Walton should without doubt make an appointment at Specsavers at the earliest opportunity.

United eventually ran out deserved winners following the penalty shoot-out and here again Portsmouth were very much second best when failing to even hit the target twice - which is unforgiveable for a professional footballer's earning such vast sums.

Without doubt Fergie will be the happier of the two managers but as I have been saying recently, it looks like scoring goals is going to be a big problem for United in the early part of the season, that is unless the Reds sign this new striker that we've been hearing about all summer long.

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