Monday, April 27, 2009

Ryan Giggs Named PFA Player Of The Year

The evergreen Welshman has received the approval of his peers and walked away with this year's award.

Manchester United icon Ryan Giggs has been named tonight as the PFA Player of the Year, with the veteran midfielder's efforts in the twilight of his career being applauded by fellow professionals.

The player, deployed in a variety of roles by his club manager Alex Ferguson this season, beat off competition from Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Edwin van der Sar and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as Liverpool's Steven Gerrard to claim the award.

"It's right up there, with personal accolades it's the best to have as it's voted by your fellow players," he told The Guardian.

"I've been fortunate to win a lot of trophies, I won the young player award twice but this is the big one."

United have six players in the team of the year, but Wayne Rooney is perhaps one surprising omission from the line-up.

Premier League team of the year: Edwin van der Sar; Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra; Ashley Young, Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo; Nicolas Anelka, Fernando Torres

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Player Ratings: Man United 5-2 Tottenham

The champions put in a stunning second-half performance to defeat Spurs at Old Trafford. rates the performers.


Van der Sar: 6.5 - Had little chance with either goal but dealt with everything else that came his way.

Rafael Da Silva: 6.0 - Went AWOL for Tottenham’s second goal and found Modric a tough opponent. However, going forwards he did OK and had a decent effort on goal in the first half.

Ferdinand: 6.0 – Darren Bent caused him a few problems and he ought to have cleared the cross which led to the first goal.

Vidic: 6.0 – Like Ferdinand a nervy first half but improved after the break.

Evra: 5.0 - Appeared terrified of Lennon and gave him far too much space all afternoon, but particularly for the second goal.

Ronaldo: 8.5 - A super effort forced Gomes into an excellent save in the first-half. After the break he scored the penalty to give United hope before adding the third with a diving header.

Carrick: 7.0 - Good run to win the penalty, although a fortunate decision, and looked strong in the second half.

Fletcher: 6.5 - Looked to get forwards at all times and industrious as ever but sacrificed for Paul Scholes as United went in search of the equaliser.

Nani: 6.0 – Another ineffective performance and little surprise to see him replaced at the break for Carlos Tevez.

Berbatov: 7.5 - Linked really well with Tevez and Rooney and bundled home the fifth to silence the boo boys.

Rooney: 9.0 –
A brilliant display by the striker who netted twice and had a hand in the other three. A great ball sent Carrick racing through for the penalty and two super crosses set up Ronaldo and Berbatov.


Tevez: 7.5 - Made a huge impact, helped United up the tempo and his substitution proved key.

Scholes: 7.5 - Another important substitution as the veteran arrived and promptly took charge of the midfield.


Gomes: 7.0 – Conceded five but had a decent afternoon. Made a brilliant stop from Ronaldo in the first-half and was a little unlucky with the penalty decision which looked harsh. However, ought to have done better with Rooney’s goal, which beat him at his near post.

Corluka: 6.5 – Combined well with Lennon in the first half but was no match for Rooney after the break.

Woodgate: 6.0 - Booked for bringing down Ronaldo and couldn’t prevent Rooney’s shot creeping in.

King: 6.5 – Had a great first half but like his team, crumbled after the break.

Assou-Ekotto: 6.0 - Some good work in tandem with Modric but was overworked after the break as Ronaldo came to life.

Lennon: 8.0 – Has the beating of Patrice Evra and was very impressive in the first half, having a hand in both goals and by far Spurs’ most dangerous player.

Palacios: 6.5 - A little reckless in the tackle at times but a formidable midfield presence and had a decent effort just before the break.

Jenas: 6.0 - Snapped into tackles but looked lost at times as United rampaged through the second half.

Modric: 7.5 – A good finish for the goal and sent Bent through with superb passes on a number of occasions.

Keane: 5.5 – Very quiet, had few sights of goal and offered very little.

Bent: 7.0 - Made a nuisance of himself and gave Vidic and Ferdinand plenty to think about. Missed an early chance before firing home his 17th goal of the season to open the scoring.


Huddlestone: n/a

Bale: n/a

Five Star Manchester United Stun Tottenham Hotspur

The champions came back from two goals down to secure an emphatic victory over Spurs that sends them back to the top of the table.

Manchester United 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United welcomed Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford hoping to regain the lead of the Premier League after watching Liverpool knock them off the top of the table after victory at Hull City.

Sir Alex Ferguson welcomed Rio Ferdinand back into the side as well as Rafael Da Silva with Dimitar Berbatov partnering Wayne Rooney up front.

Spurs, meanwhile, included Ledley King in defence but were again without Roman Pavyluchenko so Darren Bent continued his partnership with Robbie Keane in attack.

Yet the visitors began the game brightly and Bent could have grabbed a goal in the first 10 minutes.

The striker beat Rio Ferdinand to an Aaron Lennon cross before heading back across goal but just wide of Edwin Van der Sar’s goal.

United slowly grew into the game and also went close mid-way through the first period after Cristiano Ronaldo headed a Nani cross just wide.

However, it was Spurs who took the lead minutes later with Bent grabbing his 17th goal of the season.

Some neat work down the right between Vedran Corluka and Lennon saw the Croat cross for Bent.

The United defence failed to clear the danger and the former Charlton Athletic man was on hand to smash the ball home to open the scoring.

The home side were stunned but minutes later it was about to get much worse as Spurs doubled their lead.

Again the threat came down the Tottenham right with Lennon crossing for Bent.

The striker flicked the ball to the back post where an unmarked Luka Modric was on hand to smash the ball home.

Ferguson’s men attempted to respond and they might have had a goal back before the break but for a wonderful piece of goalkeeping from Heurelho Gomes.

A Ronaldo free-kick was driven straight into the wall but fell kindly to the Portuguese who fired a wicked shot that appeared destined for the top corner before the Spurs stopped acrobatically tipped it behind.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Ferguson opted to change his side at the break sending on Carlos Tevez for Nani.

The home side began the second half with greater urgency and Tevez almost found his name on the scoresheet less than 10 minutes into the second period.

Some lovely football between Berbatov and Ronaldo saw the Portuguese play in Tevez but his shot was well-saved by Gomes.

Minutes later and United were handed a way back into the game after referee Howard Webb awarded a penalty.

A super ball by Rooney found Carrick sprinting into the box and he went to ground under Gomes’ challenge, although the Spurs keeper did appear to get a touch on the ball.

It may have been a generous decision but Ronaldo made no mistake, slamming the ball down the middle to hand the champions a glimmer of hope.

United ramped up the pressure, sending on Paul Scholes for Darren Fletcher and within 10 minutes they had hauled themselves back on level terms.

Some good hold up play by Berbatov saw him feed Tevez who in turn found Rooney on the overlap on the left and the England striker cut inside Corluka before beating Gomes at his near post.

Yet the champions were far from finished and less than a minute later they found themselves in front for the first time of the afternoon.

More super play from Rooney out on the left, saw him beat Lennon before sending in a delicious cross to Ronaldo at the far post who headed past Gomes on the stretch.

The home crowd went wild with delight but incredibly Ferguson’s men were to extend their lead even further.

A Ronaldo ball in from the right found Rooney at the far post and his shot beat Gomes and just crept over the line despite Woodgate’s attempted block.

United were rampant against a Tottenham side clearly shaken and with less than 10 minutes to go they put the game out of sight.

Again Rooney was the tormentor in chief, strolling down the left before chipping a super ball into Berbatov to bundle home and send United back to the Premier League summit.

Man Utd:
Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva (O’Shea, 70), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani (Tevez, 46), Berbatov, Rooney.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Jenas, Modric (Bale, 85) Keane (Huddlestone, 86), Bent.


5-2 Manchester United (Berbatov, 79)

4-2 Manchester United (Rooney, 71)

3-2 Manchester United (Ronaldo, 68)

2-2 Manchester United (Rooney, 67)

1-2 Manchester United (Ronaldo, pen 57)

0-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Modric, 31)

0-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Bent, 28)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Utd 'working on' Tevez stay

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted the he is doing everything he can to ensure Carlos Tevez remains at the club

The Argentine's future is currently the subject of conjecture as he comes to the end of a two-year loan deal.

United are keen to extend his stay but it has been suggested Tevez could seek a move elsewhere, with Liverpool the latest to be mooted as suitors, come the end of the season.

The forward's playing time has been reduced since the summer arrival of Dimitar Berbatov, but Ferguson is 'working towards' a new agreement with the player.

"Whether the games he has played are important games or not is a different question but he has played in quite a few big games," said Ferguson. "I don't want him to be unhappy because he is an important player for us.

"The difficulty is when you have got the options I have got - I bought another striker in with Berbatov, as well as having the option of playing (Cristiano) Ronaldo as a striker - you create problems for yourself because all good players want to play in every game.

"But they can't play in every game in this league - it is impossible. I think he genuinely wants to stay here and that is something we are trying to work towards.

"I have told him that repeatedly. And there is not much more I can do."