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Whisper it, United still on track for unlikely treble!


The first impression one got upon looking at the starting line up Manchester United fielded in this Old Trafford quarter final was that the FA Cup was not high on Sir Alex Ferguson’s list of priorities. He surprised by naming seven defenders to face Arsenal with one eye firmly fixed  on Tuesday nights Champions League meeting with Marseille and setting up his side to simply avoid defeat. In the end, United did far better than that, handing the Gunners a morale shattering 2-0 defeat to secure a trip to Wembley for a semi final which keeps them on track for an unlikely treble! Talk of such an achievement is far too early of course, there are too many pundits who feel that they’re not worthy of it, but the fact remains that after this result, United are still very much in the mix.

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United on target for another first against Valencia


Despite the heavy 0-4 defeat suffered at West Ham in the Carling Cup last week, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to again leave a number of senior players out of his starting lineup for Tuesday night’s Champions League meeting with Valencia. Both clubs have already qualified for the knockout round although top spot in Group C is still up for grabs. United have 13 points from five games and will win the group if they avoid defeat against the Spaniards.

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Patrice Evra: Modern full-back, but left-winger?


I was a bit bemused and slightly uncomfortable when I saw that Patrice Evra was starting at left-wing for the Stoke game. That doesn’t make much sense really, since he played as a winger in the PSG youth team and for Marsala in Italy, and even as a centre forward for Nice in France. He even had brief cameos as a winger in his first few games for United, and he has all the attributes that make an effective winger (pace, stamina, good crossing and commendable dribbling skills). Maybe it was awkward because it meant John O’Shea was playing at left-back, and we all know what that can lead to (although I’m assuming he was played there because of his aerial ability and a certain Mr Delap’s throw-ins). Read the full story

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