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Old 2nd May 2011, 15:15   #691
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Congratulations to Arsenal!

IMHO, United were setup to soak up the pressure and avoid any exertions to save energy for the matches ahead. Do remember United have been playing twice a week ever since the international break ended at the end of March. Arsenal were fresher and were full of running and United would've run out of steam soon had they tried to match their game. I was thinking to myself that if we keep the scores level, we would have a chance in the second half. But was also fearing that we might not have enough in the tank to get back in the game if we went behind, which is exactly what happened.

Did you notice that neither Carrick nor Ando got near any of Arsenal's midfield players in the first half? They had all the freedom to run and pick passes and United were fortunate not to have been behind in the first half. Any other top team would probably have punished us with more clinical finishing. We started to play in the second half but lost a cheap goal with Park (of all people!!) failing to track Ramsey's run into the box. I'll cut him some slack since he doesn't make mistakes often. But I'd like to see Tony Valencia and Nani switch flanks during the game. Nani looks happier on the right side and did appear totally anonymous for large chunks of play (apart from his only gilt-edged chance in the second half) when Evra was sitting back and all our attacks were coming through Tony Valencia on the right. We miss Giggs more than anyone else; that says it all! Legend!!

Still its not the end of the world as we are masters of our own destiny if we get the right results! But yesterday's result does give Chelsea massive encouragement as they would also be thinking that they could control the title race if they win against United.

Remember, United and Chelsea are tied on goal difference at the moment and if Chelsea beat United, they will surely be ahead on that count and level on points. Then it will come down to who bangs in the most goals in the last two games. As a United fan, we are quite used to doing things the hard way. When have we done things easy?

I am sure Fergie would start with Berba on wednesday alongside Rooney and keep Chicharito on the bench to save him for Chelsea. He would probably play it like the second leg of the UCL quarters since Chelsea will be chasing the game and they need to win it, while United don't.

Squeaky bum time folks!! Enjoy the ride! GGMU!

Last edited by nkapoor777 : 2nd May 2011 at 15:22. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 2nd May 2011, 21:46   #692
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A perfect analysis of Sunday's game : http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thefootballtacticsblog/2011/05/what_can_chelsea_leacrn_from_ma.html

I think SAF is going to have problems with squad rotation this week. Suddenly their match with Chelsea has become the title decider. It will be great to see how the teams play.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 17:45   #693
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So the final installment of the El-Classico is here. Although I am not expecting any comeback from Real madrid but with Mourinho you can be assured the match is going to be exciting. Following is a preview and possible tactics for both teams:Barcelona v Real Madrid: tactical preview | Zonal Marking
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Old 3rd May 2011, 20:44   #694
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Tonight the decisive semi-finals. It's almost certain that its going to be Man United vs Barcelona is the finals. I hope it won't be a repeat of last year's final!
United have to lift one trophy this season. GGMU!
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:02   #695
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Its almost certain - Manutd vs Barca in finals unless Schalke makes a brilliant comeback which I dont think they will. I think yesterdays EL-Classico was much better than the previous leg. Both teams played good football. Real Madrid had few chances and could convert only one. That is what you get when you play Barcelona. You will get just 2-3 good chances and if you do not convert them you will be punished. Referring was also nice and players of both teams behaved appropriately.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:09   #696
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Its almost certain - Manutd vs Barca in finals unless Schalke makes a brilliant comeback which I dont think they will. I think yesterdays EL-Classico was much better than the previous leg. Both teams played good football. Real Madrid had few chances and could convert only one. That is what you get when you play Barcelona. You will get just 2-3 good chances and if you do not convert them you will be punished. Referring was also nice and players of both teams behaved appropriately.
Was surprised to see kaka in place of ozil. He had no effect at all.
Inspite of the refreeing being better, I thought barca got a lot of favours this time too. So many silly fowls given against madrid.

Ronaldo said: ‘Barcelona are a difficult team to beat because they get outside help. Next year they should give the cup directly to them.’


Anyway, now We(Man Utd) have a chance to avenge the defeat of 2009.
Its of course wembley, where we won it for the first time, so did barca too!
Hope its a great occasion, not marred by barca play acting, and ends with United lifting the cup
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Old 5th May 2011, 02:36   #697
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Here we come Wemberly!! GGMU! Lets give the Blues some blues on Sunday!
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Old 5th May 2011, 10:54   #698
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I thought Schalke would show some kind of fight in the semis of the champions league but no. Ofcourse they were better than their first leg performance. It was important for them to score the first goal. But Manutd comfortably won. 2 goals for Anderson! Over to Sunday now. Key players were rested for Sunday's match. Hope to see a good match. My prediction: 1-1.
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:47   #699
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Wembely, Wembely, we are the famous Man United and we are going to Wembely!

Time to kick some blues at home this Sunday and revenge at the Cup Finals is what we seek!
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Old 5th May 2011, 17:25   #700
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With Puyol and Abidal returning from injury/surgery, the Barca defense is going to be back to its best in CL. This time around, there's going to be no defensive nightmares that the team went through while facing M Utd in the finals a couple of seasons back

The only dilemma is as to whom should be preferred as DM. Mascherano has been brilliant in thr second half of the season and it would be really tough for Pep not to play him.

In the midfield, Iniesta is also back into training. Him,Xavi and Busi/Masch should present a full strength midfield with Thiago as backup.

Pedro and Villa havnt been on the scorer's list for a while and its been Messi who carried the team around. Pedro's goal against RM would hopefully turn around things for him.
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Old 5th May 2011, 18:07   #701
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With Puyol and Abidal returning from injury/surgery, the Barca defense is going to be back to its best in CL. This time around, there's going to be no defensive nightmares that the team went through while facing M Utd in the finals a couple of seasons back

The only dilemma is as to whom should be preferred as DM. Mascherano has been brilliant in thr second half of the season and it would be really tough for Pep not to play him.
Barca's defence is good but I doubt whether they will be effective in counter-attacks. I think Manutd's strategy will be counter-attack as teams which play Barca get less possession. Rooney and Chicharito as strikers; Nani and Valencia as wingers will have to work hard a lot. Expect a lot of long balls from Giggs and Scholes from midfiled to the wings. As for Barca I think they will play their usual game. Vidic vs Messi will be a great battle to watch. May the better team win!
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Old 5th May 2011, 19:29   #702
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Barca's defence is good but I doubt whether they will be effective in counter-attacks. I think Manutd's strategy will be counter-attack as teams which play Barca get less possession. Rooney and Chicharito as strikers; Nani and Valencia as wingers will have to work hard a lot. Expect a lot of long balls from Giggs and Scholes from midfiled to the wings. As for Barca I think they will play their usual game. Vidic vs Messi will be a great battle to watch. May the better team win!
May only Utd win

I have a team that I think can neutralize Barca threat and play for a win.
VDS
Rafael Smalling Vidic Evra
Rio (in a sweeper role)
Carrick Fletcher (2 CMs)
Valencia Giggs
Rooney

Amongst the subs: Berbatov, Nani (to come on at around 60 mins if needed), Chicharito, Anderson, Park etc.

I think with Barca the problem is you dont want to concede the first goal! The moment that happens, they will just keep the ball and make you work very hard thus tiring you and then playing on the counter.

That is why having a sweeper is important. RM did the same (played Pepe in that role, but I guess Rio would make better sweeper as his reading of the game is excellent) and Carrick and Flech can concentrate on neutralizing the twin threat of Xavi and Iniesta.

If Rooney and Valencia can forge something of last season's understanding, then we can even hope for a goal! Otherwise take it to penalties and pray!!!

One thing is for sure, the team that scores first in the final will win!
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Old 6th May 2011, 11:10   #703
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Barca's defence is good but I doubt whether they will be effective in counter-attacks. I think Manutd's strategy will be counter-attack as teams which play Barca get less possession. Rooney and Chicharito as strikers; Nani and Valencia as wingers will have to work hard a lot. Expect a lot of long balls from Giggs and Scholes from midfiled to the wings. As for Barca I think they will play their usual game. Vidic vs Messi will be a great battle to watch. May the better team win!
That is exactly why the presence of Mascherano can be so effective for Barcelona. He isnt the same reckless player as he used to be in Liverpool and has brought down the number of cards drastically.
Masch can effectively break up counter attacks as well as help out the defense whenever in need.

Pedro is another key player. Although he is a winger who is usually seen cutting inwards to score goals, the amount of defensive work he does is amazing. Being the less accomplished player in MVP trio up front, he is usually less marked and can sneak in using his pace to hurt opponents.


2 years back, the midfield creativity used to be exclusively from Xavi and Iniesta. Thankfully, Thiago the wonderkid has earned his spot in the team and Affelay is an excellent player in midfield as he is in winger. There is some nack up in the midfield even though our defense and attack seems to be short of players
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Old 7th May 2011, 19:09   #704
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Barca's defence is good but I doubt whether they will be effective in counter-attacks. I think Manutd's strategy will be counter-attack as teams which play Barca get less possession. Rooney and Chicharito as strikers; Nani and Valencia as wingers will have to work hard a lot. Expect a lot of long balls from Giggs and Scholes from midfiled to the wings. As for Barca I think they will play their usual game. Vidic vs Messi will be a great battle to watch. May the better team win!
Yes that has been their weakness and some teams tried the tactic of parking their bus and aiming for goals only through counter attacks as Barca's defence is usually high up the pitch. But Guardiola seems to have realised this as in the last two classico's their defence was slightly deep than normal.

Most tend to ignore dani alves. He is such a bundle of energy and makes pretty good runs. He would have been a better player if not for his slightly weak finishing. But thing is his starting place is near the back four but he always plays so high up the pitch that he can be confused for a right winger.
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Old 7th May 2011, 20:43   #705
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Yes that has been their weakness and some teams tried the tactic of parking their bus and aiming for goals only through counter attacks as Barca's defence is usually high up the pitch. But Guardiola seems to have realised this as in the last two classico's their defence was slightly deep than normal.

Most tend to ignore dani alves. He is such a bundle of energy and makes pretty good runs. He would have been a better player if not for his slightly weak finishing. But thing is his starting place is near the back four but he always plays so high up the pitch that he can be confused for a right winger.
ALso in defence I think one should defend deep against Barcelona. When Arsenal played Barcelona at emirates during the first half their defence line was very high and they were looking to get the offside. While this might work sometimes but against Barca its a bad tactic as they are very good in making their runs. Let Barca have possession but as they come closer the midfielders have to put pressure and do a lot of running. The back four have to stay a little deep. Barca players hardly score goals from set pieces or corners. Even when they get free kicks they will usually pass it closeby rather than give a long ball.
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