Friday, 23 May 2008

From Russia with Glove - Keeper wins match for United

The above is a fantastic headline from the Mirror yesterday highlighting Man United’s victory in Moscow. Having cheered me no end by collecting the league the boys did the business in the driving rain and collected their 3rd European Cup on Wednesday.

It was a tense match, Chelsea giving United a good game. Though it didn't flow end to end, there were some terrific moves and stuff for the purists. As the game wore on, I sensed extra time and the possibility of penalties. Something I hate to see a match won by. United I felt, certainly had enough to win the game without this, but as the pundits would say, its about taking your chances, and in the first half United spurned a couple of good ones which would have stitched the game up. It probably would have led to a less dramatic finish, but United to have a tendency to leave their fans biting their nails till the end.

Ultimately, United held their nerve, rode their luck and got a break in the penalty shoot out which a combination of Giggs finishing and Van der Sar's save led to the magic moment of victory. I've tried to think about what was fair - despite gloating about Terry's miss, it was tough on him to slip at the crucial time on a terrible surface. But maybe with Chelsea having hit the bar and post it was destined to be United’s victory.

Read a collation of the foreign press to see an alternate view of whether United were deserved victors and I like what I read by Par Angel Marcos in l'equipe on his view of the rightful winners:

"For Chelsea this defeat is a terrible, hard-to-accept moment, but it is still at the hands of the season's best team. If for nothing other than the spirit of their coach, the win is deserved. To put on Giggs, an attacker, in place of Scholes, a defensive midfielder, and then add Nani - that deserves victory"

Maybe a tad biased on my part. And ignores the fact Fergie bought on Anderson specifically to take a pen. But certainly true of the United desire to win. For that, well done Ferguson and United.

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