Saturday, September 23, 2006

Reading test United's paper thin squad...

Ronaldo denied Reading a historic victory today with a stunning goal late on in this game and in doing so earned United a 1-1 draw. The Portuguese star saved United's blushes after Steve Coppell's side had taken the lead early in the second half from the penalty spot, after Gary Neville handled inside the area, a harsh decision maybe.

United had their chances to have won the game, most notably through Richardson who when presented with a golden chance, completely missed his kick. Scholes went close too, but Reading fought hard and made United work for their share of the spoils.

Fergie had started the game with Saha on the bench, the official line is the French striker is nursing a hamstring injury and of course United are away to Benfica in midweek. So Fergie, decided not to risk him.

The fact is United's squad is paper thin and what happened today illustrated that perfectly. United started the game with Rooney and Scholes up front, both are second strikers and are not out and out centre forwards. Fergie's failure to replace Ruud Van Niselrooy is now being brought into sharp focus. Quite simply United don't have enough fire-power up front to mount a serious title challenge. Ferguson's assertion that he was happy with his squad will be put to the test in tougher places than the Madejski Stadium this season, the United manager could well live to regret those comments.

United are already two points behind the champions in the league. United fans and Fergie will be keen not to slip too far out of view of Chelsea's rear view mirror like last season, when the reds drifted some 13 points behind the blues before Christmas.

What's more it could turn out to be a very bad 10 days for United if they lose against Benfica, and if that happens the alarm bells will start to ring for certain.

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