From the Back Pages: 9/15/2010 CL EDITION!


I have no clue what the hell I saw for 90+ minutes today.  I trust Sir Alex....he's more than earned that trust...but I'm not sure exactly what he was telling the team today.  On several occasions, 8 or 9 Rangers were either in the box or within 5 yards of it. You HAVE to try and spread them out and the only way to do it is to shorten the field and play deep down the wings. United never did that in the first 80 minutes or so, opting to kick the ball into the box 30 or 40 yards from the end line.  As Sweet science said, they looked lethargic at times, especially when they were in possession for long stretches. Andy Gray even suggested letting Rangers penetrate with their counter attack a little more to stretch them out a bit.  I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I know this:

After the 85th minute, when there was more of a sense of urgency, Giggs kept taking the ball down the left to the corner flag...and did you notice the chances United had?  Rio and Smalling moved up as well, forcing Rangers to only clear the ball, as they were TOO close together to begin a real counter attack.  That was the only time all game that the corner got exploited that much.

I don't generally do player ratings, but I'll tell you who impressed me: Fabio.  When Gers were in possession, they kept working our left side and Fabio was consistently the pest he needed to be.  Sure, I wasn't happy with some of his crosses or his decisions when he was over the ball, but those skills will come with time.  Playing hard-nosed defense is what's gonna get him playing time.  

Darron Gibson was also moderately impressive. He has a presence over the ball and has unbelievable power with good precision from distance.  Yeah, he reminds me of Scholes, only without the red hair.  This kid is already doing good things for Ireland...and I think he's "the one" that will be able to take over for Scholes when he leaves.

Who pissed me off?  Everybody else. Overall it was a very boring game, with very little creativity on either side of the ball.  Rangers efforts on goal were hopeful at best, leaving Rio, Smalling and Kuszczak virtually unchallenged. You can probably add Wes Brown to that list, as much as they worked the left.

Yeah, we only got a point, but while SAF seemingly treated this match like a Carling Cup tie, the bright spots are still bright and I think we're close to making a good run. 

Enjoy the links...they're after the jump:










  • UEFA: Emery enchanted by Valencia's tyros
  • Sky Sports: Bursaspor brought down to earth
  • Yahoo!: Valencia crush debutants Bursaspor 4-0
  • AFP: Valencia cruise past new boys Bursaspor


  • UEFA: Twente push champions Inter to the limit
  • Sky Sports: Inter denied by Twente
  • Yahoo!: Inter struggle to draw
  • AFP: Barcelona hit five as Champions League group phase begins
  • Reuters UK: Inter's Pandev suffers serious looking knee injury


  • UEFA: Bremen bounce back to check Tottenham
  • Sky Sports: Werder fightback denies Spurs
  • The BBC: Harry Redknapp frustrated by Champions League draw
  • Yahoo!: Bremen teach Spurs harsh lesson with comeback
  • The Guardian: Tottenham held to a draw by Werder Bremen after taking a two-goal lead
  • The Independent: Slipshod Spurs throw away a golden start to life in Europe
  • The Sun: Harry: We blew glory chance



  • UEFA: Bastos goal helps Lyon past Schalke
  • Sky Sports: Lyon helped to winning start
  • Yahoo!: Lyon defeat 10-man Schalke


  • UEFA: Benfica break Hapoel resistance in Lisbon
  • Sky Sports: Benfica off and running
  • Ha'aretz: Ignored, outscored
  • Yahoo!: Sleepy Benfica find form in win over Hapoel


  • UEFA: Guardiola dazzled by Barcelona brilliance
  • Sky Sports: Five-star Barca fire warning
  • ESPN: Guardiola: That's as good as we get
  • Irish Times: Messi's Barca brace restores order


  • UEFA: Solbakken delights at clinical Copenhagen
  • Sky Sports: Fairytale start for Copenhagen
  • Yahoo!: N'Doye strike gives Copenhagen win over Rubin


  • The Sun: Ron tips Real run in Europe
  • The Daily Mail: Arsene Wenger: English giants must rule Europe again on the long road to Wembley



  • The Guardian: Glazer family's Tampa Bay austerity bodes ill for Manchester United


  • The Daily Mail: Under the hammer! England hero Nobby Stiles sells off World Cup medal and other memorabilia for family I can only hope that the FA is amongst the bidders so these treasures can be seen by everyone a the National Football Museum or whatever the end up calling it. 
  • The Guardian: Nobby Stiles to sell 1966 World Cup winner's medal
  • The Daily Mail: Craig Bellamy 'coin attack' case thrown out of Manchester court



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