Pre Match & Line Ups- Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge, 01/03/11
Teams: Chelsea v Manchester United @ Stamford Bridge
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Last Match: Fulham 0 0 Chelsea & Wigan 0 4 Man United
Kick Off: 19 45 on TV @ Sky Sports HD 1
After being suspiciously postponed in December because of a combination of the snow and/or Chelsea’s shocking form, United finally travel to Stamford Bridge for a game which is of the utmost importance for both sides. The Blues need the 3 points to salvage their season and regain fourth position, while the Reds are trying to pull away from Arsenal, at the top of the Premier League. Sir Alex will have been pleased to see the start of Arsenal’s annual end-of-season implosion against Birmingham City in the Carling Cup Final but he will be wary of their easy run in.
Comment & Analysis- FA Cup Fifth Round. Manchester United v Crawley Town, 19.02.11
Having been granted a match at Old Trafford, thanks to the magic of the FA Cup, Crawley were today knocked out of the competition by an under-par Man United team. Facing opposition 97 places below us in the Football League, Sir Alex made widespread changes to the team that played in the Manchester derby, but did not go so far as to hand debuts to the likes of Ryan Tunnicliffe & Paul Pogba – instead opting for the standard ‘Carling Cup team’.
Player Ratings- Manchester United v Crawley Town, 19.02.11
Andres Lindegaard- 6
Making his home debut, the Danish stopper wasn’t called into action too often, despite Crawley’s attacking ambitions. He had the late header, which hit the crossbar, covered and distributed the ball well throughout. A solid performance from the 6ft 4 stopper.
Darron Gibson – A Man United Homegrown Talent – Stick or Twist?
D.O.B: 25/10/1987 (23)
First Team Squad #28
Rep. of Ireland International
History & Background
Darron Thomas Daniel Gibson, as you all know, is a much maligned United academy product hailing from Derry in Northern Ireland.
Player Ratings- Manchester Derby, Old Trafford, 12.02.11
Edwin Van Der Sar– 6
The Dutch stopper had little to do in the match and could not have anticipated Silva’s freakish goal. His distribution, as usual, was impeccable and he organized the defence well for the set pieces.
John O’Shea- 6.5
Taking the place of Rafael at RB, the Irishman was effective going forward and kept Kolorav at bay in the first half. The utility-man struggled more so when David Silva switched to the wing but this change did not stop him getting forward (he made twice as many passes as Evra).
Chris Smalling– 7.5
Replacing the injured Rio Ferdinand, the young English CB stepped into partner Vidic and performed superbly up against former-red Carlos Tevez. He won 11 out 12 of his tackles and 5 out of 5 aerial duels, nullifying the Blue’s attacks expertly. (Find a nice article on Smalling @ http://writtenoffside.blogspot.com/2011/02/smalling-makes-big-impression-united-vs.html )
Smalling for Rio, A Promising Replacement…
Nemanja Vidic– 7
The Serb was as assured as always and seemed to know exactly how to handle the Argentinian, having trained with him for two seasons. The City goal was freakish and could not be blamed on any defensive frailties; regardless, United will have been disappointed to lose the clean sheet.
Patrice Evra– 6.5
A quietly impressive performance from the French defender that would have made the blue side of Manchester jealous. Whereas City are struggling to find a consistent LB, despite purchasing the £18m Kolarov, United have one of the best full backs in European footballer. Throughout he defended well and kept the lively SWP at bay. A solid performance.
Comment & Analysis- The Manchester Derby, Old Trafford, 12.02.11
Majestic- Superb- Unbelievable… Three adjectives that most certainly weren’t applicable to the match I witnessed on this sunny Saturday afternoon, as the 4th official in a local cup semi-final. Stuck on a muddy sideline, two miles from Old Trafford, I could only imagine the theatrics going on at the Theatre of Dreams through the patchy commentary of a die-hard City fan and his radio headset; as I endured a lacklustre 90 minutes & extra time, during the derby.
A Look @ The Football Rich List, Through Red-Tinted Glasses
This week, the auditors Deloitte published their latest edition of the annual Football Money League, a comparison of football clubs’ earning power.