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Monday, April 28, 2008

Manchester United Vs Barcelona War Of Words

Fergie To Barca: Watch Out For Rooney
Sir Alex Ferguson has sent a warning to Barcelona ahead of their Champions League semi-final return leg at Old Trafford, revealing he is preparing to unleash Wayne Rooney on Tuesday night.

The England forward was given a defensive role in wide midfield during the 0-0 draw at Camp Nou in the first leg on Wednesday, with Rooney and Park Ji-Sung given the task of occupying the dangerous Barca full-backs.Ferguson was thrilled with the 23-year-old’s selfless performance, but insists it will be Rooney’s attacking flair that earns the plaudits this week.“Wayne sacrificed himself on Wednesday and he had no problem when I told him what I wanted from him,” the Scot said. “Wayne's a team player who sacrifices himself all the time. He has the ability and energy to do that for the team.“Although he didn't play to his normal standard he'll be playing a different position on Tuesday. You will see a different Wayne Rooney then - believe me.” StraightforwardWith the likelihood of back-to-back goalless draws between United and Barca being extremely remote given the two teams’ attacking philosophies, the Red Devils will almost certainly have to win outright to reach an all-English final with either Chelsea or Liverpool.But Ferguson believes there is an advantage in having to win to progress, insisting it simplifies the task by eliminating the safety blanket that an away goal would have provided.“It can be a difficult scoreline so we could have done with an away goal but we didn't do that so we have to win the game,” he said. “It's straightforward. “We've had some difficult games at home the last few years but we have done well and beaten teams like Milan, Roma and Inter Milan. “But if someone would have told me at the start of the season that to get into the Champions League final we'd have to win our semi-final at Old Trafford I'd have taken it, absolutely. There's no doubt about that.”DisappointingFerguson was widely criticised for the defensive attitude he employed in the first leg, where Cristiano Ronaldo was used as the lone forward while Rooney, Park and Carlos Tevez took up combative midfield roles.And while he admits his team will have to improve if they wish to defeat a Barca line-up filled to the brim with attacking flair, the Scot is adamant that United will lift in front their home crowd at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.“The atmosphere and the fact that we are at home will help us,” said Ferguson. “We know we were disappointing in Barcelona in terms of our contribution to the game - although we defended very well. “We were disappointed because normally one of our great strengths is keeping possession of the ball but we didn't do that which was a surprise. It's true that it was the kind of disciplined defensive performance that you don't normally associate with United but I think the players realised it was a massive game. “They realised too that Barcelona always get a lot of possession of the ball because the Nou Camp is a big pitch and they always have a spare man in midfield which makes it difficult for opposing teams. We have proved down the years that we put in consistent performances at Old Trafford in Europe more often that not. “And history has shown that when we need a big performance and result at Old Trafford then we get one. And I believe we will beat Barcelona. “The game won't get to penalties believe me. We will win it.”No DoubtThe United manager has also backed star winger Ronaldo after he missed a crucial third-minute penalty at Camp Nou, insisting he will not be removed from his spot-kick duties and is certain to bury the next penalty United receive in the back of the next.“Ronnie (Cristiano Ronaldo) will take the next penalty we get,” Ferguson added. “There's no doubt about that - and he'll score.”

Henry: Barcelona Can Repeat Monaco Success
Thierry Henry took to the Old Trafford pitch as a Monaco player a decade ago and helped the French side en route to an historic win over Manchester United. Now he's looking to do the same in a Barcelona shirt.

Henry's seen a lot of changes since that fateful night in a Monaco shirt ten years ago, but he believes that history can repeat as he prepares to visit Old Trafford with the blaugrana.He told the official Barcelona website, "I remember we played the first game at home and with the goalless draw the people said we were out. But we demonstrated that you can score a goal at Old Trafford and with a one all draw we went through. It was incredible for the club."Monaco is not one of the giants of Europe and to go to the semi-final was incredible and also scoring a goal. It can be done."Indeed, that night saw Monaco under great pressure - they, like Barça, had drawn 0-0 in the first leg - yet they prevailed."We didn’t suffer. We scored on the quarter hour mark and then nothing, Solskjaer drew and very little more," he said.Changed DaysHe acknowledged that it was a somewhat different United lineup."Different, yes, but it was Manchester United. That year they won the Premier. Now we can say that they have more players from outside England. But before they had Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Sheringham. In the end they also won a Champions League in the Camp Nou," he said."But is anything possible? Yes. On that occasion it was another game that we didn’t play well. A team that people said: What are Monaco doing here!"We have now shown that giving our all we play well, that we can do it. It won’t be easy because they haven’t lost any games there but there is always a first time and I hope that it is against Barça. "It will be a different encounter, tactically, to the first leg, said Henry."That’s true. We might have more space but they will also create more danger," he warned."Here they didn’t play their game, because we played well and we expect something different there."

Ferdinand: Concentration Key Against Barcelona
Manchester United skipper Rio Ferdinand told that only thorough concentration can guarantee success against Barcelona on Tuesday night.

Manchester United have a narrow advantage after managing a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou in the first leg, but the England international recognises that the job is not yet done.Barcelona enjoyed the bulk of the chances in the first leg, with Ferdinand claiming that they could take one in Manchester if the hosts are not careful.He remarked, "They're a very good attacking side so if we're not on our game for the whole 90 minutes and concentrating that whole time I'm sure they will find the gaps to score goals."That the Red Devils did not concede in the first leg was, in Ferdinand's estimation, testament to his side's abilities."I thought every one of our players, not just the back four and the keeper, defended resolutely," he continued."Barcelona are a fantastic football team and if you defend well and concentrate for 90 minutes you've always got a chance of keeping a clean sheet, but if you don't for one minute in a game they can score a goal."You expect them to keep the ball for long periods especially in the Camp Nou. People like [Lionel] Messi, [Samuel] Eto'o, Thierry Henry, [Andrés] Iniesta - these kind of players can be the difference in one split second."Difference MakerUnited have their own players capable of a moment of wizardry. Wayne Rooney is one of them, although he is now doubtful with a hip injury.However, for now he is confident of making the game. The Liverpudlian said, "We've got a great record at Old Trafford and we're confident of beating anyone there."We'll attack more and we'll try and win the game as we know we can."Patrice Evra chimed in, "It was hard but the defence played very well and kept another clean sheet."We need to do the same job at Old Trafford. It was not easy, but at Old Trafford I will attack more as well and Messi will need to defend."


karakuraking said...

Well, no one mention Man Utd can repeat last year thrashing of Roma at OT.

Jackson Ng Ghim Pheng True Blue Chelsea Fan said...

It is highly unlikely to happen

and the match is over anyway Manchester United 1 - 0 Barcelona