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  • Man_United_Raj Man_United_Raj Apr 24, 2008 05:40 Flag

    What an anti-climax!

    Well I've always been a type of guy that calls a spade a spade. And I have to say tonights match was yet another pathetic advert for Champions League Semi-Final ties. I really miss the days when teams would decide from the off to just play football and not worry about the aftermath. But nowadays every bleeding team has adopted the attitude of it's-more-important-not-to-lose-than-it-is-to-win. Man Utd and Barca have been by far the two most entertaining teams in the Champions League this year so you would think a match up between the two would be a match made in heaven. Instead, both teams managed the shameful act of serving up a match more boring than yesterdays Pool v Chelski encounter!

    First of all: Man Utd.
    When I saw the team SAF had chosen I thought "Wow, 4-4-2! Two strikers upfront. Very attacking". But to my utter disappointment the amount of minutes both Tevez and Rooney actually spent upfront can be counted on one hand. Many times tonight our formation was 4-6-0. It was a sad sight to see from (usually) such an attack-minded team like Utd. Zero cutting edge whatsoever.

    Second: Barcelona.
    Equally if not more pathetic! Never have I seen a home team in a Champions League Semi-Final so content just to keep the ball. There is nothing wrong with playing keep-ball as long as you plan at some point to make possession lead to goals. Barca would play great football up to Utd's box and then do precisely NOTHING. Thats even worse than the scousers! OK, so our defenders defended very well but that was nowhere near the full story. Rio & Co. deserve credit but not as much discredit as Barca's chicken attack deserve.

    Maybe I'm just p1ssed off at SUCH a huge anti-climax. I was watching this game at The Bishop's Blaize in Stretford and anyone who's been in there will testify to the awesome atmosphere that Euro nights generate when Utd are playing. But tonights match couldn't even get our pub crowd going. During the pedestrian second half when Barca were playing unimaginitve football jst passing and passing and passing some more, Rooney played the ball out of defence to Tevez in centre-midfield, someone said "this is sh1t!" Everyone heard it. Nobody disagreed.

    On the whole 0-0 is not a bad result for us. But both of these teams owe both sets of fans at least ONE good match of football. There's a lot of making up to be done next week. G0D how I wish Ronny had stuck away that penalty. I think we may just have seen the match we all expected had Ronny scored so early on. Oh well, roll on next week. My rant is now over :)

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    • That's true butch,but i remember a last season people would condemn the 4-5-1 system.

    • 17 shots, no goals, only Eto'o's and Henry's that looked dangerous, we can live with that if they bring that to OT, and we can definitely do better than 6.

      As you say, the best always find it within them to prevail, and United will prevail next week at OT. Thanks for making my point for me ;-)

      (BTW 'makes you look even foolish'? I don't like to throw Slayer accusations around, but that is bad English)

    • It definitely was frustrating, but it's hard to criticise what was an equally 'professional' performance. I will start to share your anger if we play like that at OT though. I do agree that we should loko more to the spirit of '99 and just go for it, and both teams will fancy their chances to go through.

      One thing though, let's not turn what should be praise for a terrific defensive display into a criticism: Evra handled Messi as well as anyone can handle one of the best players in the world, especially the number of times they were one-on-one (although Park did a great job of helping out quite a few times); Wes showed that, as good as he's been at right-back, he's a natural central defender, and was there the few times Rio let someone get past; Rio was Rio - we've come to expect cool-headed and excellent defending from him this season, and he didn't disappoint, and Hargreaves was solid for another player playing well out of position against great opposition. VDS' distribution wasn't great, but his shot-stopping, when it was needed, was top-draw.

      It's a pity we can't lavish the same praise on the attacking players, although Tevez was a constant thorn in Barca's side, and Ronnie had his moments (and wouldn't have missed the second penalty, if it had been given, I believe). Rooney was very isolated, but did come into the game a bit more when he was moved.

      It wasn't a classic United game, but I really believe there's better to come.

      • 1 Reply to Wise Son
      • I see where you are coming from wise son, but it's the attitude of both teams that was frustrating. Neither team played anywhere near the football they are capable of. There is nothing wrong with 0-0s along as both (or even ONE of the teams!) has had a bit of a go. But last night, both teams who have an attacking reputation were found wanting. I remember back in the 99/00 season when we played Valencia at the Mestalla. It ended 0-0 but it was a fantastic game. End-to-end with crisp and sharp passing from both teams. And you could tell that both teams wanted to win. Yesterday both teams didn't want to lose. If we were playing a Chelski or a Liverpool or even a Milan side I could fathom that style of football. But a Barca v Man Utd match? WIth the likes of Ronaldo, Messi, Rooney, Henry, Tevez and Deco on display? Sorry, but I expected better. MUCH better.

    • Oops "attacking"

    • Raj,

      I totally understand your frustrations. We over here in our country had to wake up at 2.30 am to catch the game and wake up again at 6 am to get ready to go to work.

      it was to me one of the most frustrating games i've ever seen. United's passing was the worst i've ever seen. They could not hold the ball. When they did, they just gave it back to barca players.

      we over here feel the same. Of course there will be some fans who think they are "true" fans say that the result is what mattered. Honestly, if Barca scored 1 goal in OT next week, we will be soon heading out one's again of the CL. And why? Because fergie decides to play a cautious approach in the first leg. Why oh why? Rooney on the right? Ronaldo as striker? What was he thinking?

      I'm sorry guys, but we are just talking out of sheer frustrations here. It was so dam irritating to watch united play like this when we know how they can actually play football.

      in 99, we went at those teams. we never sat like this and let them attack. honestly, barca was playing crap. If united had played their attacking game, we could have beaten them. United looked scared of them and for what??? We are better then them man. We were jut too cautious. Reminded me of the game againts AC Milan last year.

      at the end, Johan Cryuff will be laughing. after all, he did condemm united and how i was wishing united players proved him wrong yesterday. But no, they gave one of the worst performance.

      can't really blame them as it was fergie's tactics. But, i give them credit for defending well and hope in thesecond leg we will play like champions and send the rubbish barcelona out.

    • "raj, you mean accountable for parking 11 london buses in front of VDS ?"

      This just shows how much this Asian yank knows about "soccer", he thinks there are 12 men in a team!

      "too much pints impair one's judgement."

      Classic slayer!

    • raj, complete rubbish.

      Man Utd and Barca have been by far the two most entertaining teams in the Champions League this year ?

      wrong, arsenal are the best entertaining team in europe this season, fact.

      what do you expect when united play a 10-0-0 formation behind the ball?

    • "When I saw the team SAF had chosen I thought "Wow, 4-4-2! "

      I can see where you went wrong. fergie went for 4-4-2 for first 2 mins and then 10-0-0 for remainder of the game.