Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Owen Hargreaves

I first saw Owen Hargreaves playing for Bayern Munich in late 2000. What made me interested in him is he was the only English man in the Bayern Munich team. This was a bit surprising because apart from Steve McManaman who was then at Real Madrid I had not heard of any other English player playing abroad that time.


He started first by making substitutes appearances but as the season progressed he started to gain the confidence of Ottmar Hitzfeld such that by the end of the season he was the first choice central midfielder for Bayern Munich. He started the 2001 Champions League final against Valencia where they won on penalties.

Sven Goran Eriksson seemed not to trust him before the 2002 world cup but when he lost Kieron Dyer to injury Hargreaves got his chance and he impressed although Goran Eriksson continued to use him sparingly until the 2006 world cup where he was the best English player.
Manchester United pounced after the world cup for his signature and the first season he performed well except for his injuries.
Of particular is this game against Arsenal in 2008 . Cristiano Ronaldo was the de facto freekick taker, so when Man United got a freekick on the edge of the penalty area 
everybody expected Ronaldo to take the freekick. Owen Hargreaves stepped up and boy what a beauty. Jens Lehmann had no say,  he just stood rooted on the spot as the ball struck the back of the net.

That was Hargreaves, who was bought from Bayern Munich to replace midfield maestro Roy Keane. In the few games he played he was more than Roy Keane. 

Manchester United were strong in midfield and defence. Case in example is the 2008 Champions League final, where Ferguson realized Wes Brown was the weak link in the defence to counter that he played Hargreaves on the right of defence where he performed superbly. This formation ended up denying Ji Sung Park a place in the team even though Hargreaves was not that match fit.

Too bad for his injuries but those 27 appearances he made for Manchester United will always be remembered. He was a great treasure but injuries curtailed his career. 


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Manchester United vs Manchester City down memory

The Manchester Derby is on this weekend. Here are some videos involving the two bitter rivals. In the recent seasons the Manchester City has moved from the shadows of United and they are threatening to become the Kings of Manchester and England.

The first video is in the thriller at old Trafford where Michael Owen scored the fourth goal deep in injury time to snatch the three points from City in 2009.
Robin Van Persie surprised the football world by joining Manchester United from Arsenal in 2009. What a debut season he had at Manchester United, capping it off with this memorable goal at the Etihad.
 Last season Louis Van Gaal Manchester beat an out of sorts City 4-2 at Old Trafford.
This one was a hard one for most united fans.
Being walloped 6-1 at your backyard is so depressing considering that the team had just beaten Arsenal 8-2.
Come on United give us something to smile about this weekend 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Manchester United vs Arsenal down memory lane

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Classic Matches between Manchester United and Arsenal 
Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1 1999 FA Cup semi-final (after extra time)
Ryan Giggs wonder goal settled this tie in extra time. Arsenal had the chance to win it through Denis Bergkamp penalty but Peter Schmeichel (the great Dane) saved it.
Manchester United 6 Arsenal 1 2001
A classic display from Dwight Yorke as he scored a hat trick to sink Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Manchester United 0 Arsenal 2 (2002/2003 FA Cup)
Led to the fallout between Ferguson and Beckham. A miskicked boot in the dressing by Ferguson hit Beckham just above the eye brow. He was later sold to Madrid.
Arsenal 2 Manchester United 4(2004)

John O'Shea scored the fourth goal in this unbelievable match.. Cristiano Ronaldo had two, Dennis Bergkamp scored a sublime goal but Manchester United were unstoppable.
Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3 (2009 UCL quarter finals) 

Arsenal had lost the first leg at Old Trafford with a single goal, so they were hopeful of over turning the tie. Their hopes were extinguished in the first 13 minutes by Cristiano Ronaldo and Ji Sung Park.
Manchester United 8 Arsenal 2 (2011 Premier League) 

An odd scoreline. This game was so open that even Arsenal could have scored their own six or eight goals. Every shot on target by Manchester United was a goal. Ashley Young was astounding same as Rooney. Robin Van Persie was immense for Arsenal.
Manchester United 3 Arsenal 2(2016 Premier League) 

The day Marcus Rashford announced himself to the world. Two clinical finishes and an assist to Ander Herrera condemned Arsenal to defeat. This game everybody expected Arsenal to roll over Manchester United because of the team Manchester United were fielding after the first team had been ravaged by injuries.