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RoM Reaction To Audi Cup Final

It´s never a great feeling to lose a final, not matter how much or how little is at stake, but I think we can leave Munich with our heads held high. The team which ripped AC Milan apart the evening before didn´t have a lot of joy against us, despite having the best part of the Allianz stadium cheering them on. 69,000 people showed up to watch the Audi Cup final, which maybe signals the importance that Bayern put on this competition. There 8,000 more fans than the semi-finals and as the host team, they clearly wanted the trophy. We can be happy enough that we took them to sudden death penalties for that to happen.

For the first ten minutes, United looked in control whilst Bayern looked very edgy and nervous. I couldn´t quite believe this was the same team that stroked the ball around the field so confidently the night before. They stayed in their half when they had possession and the keeper booted the ball out of play a couple of times under pressure from our forward line.

However, Bayern grew in confidence and took control of the first half. Despite both sides hitting the woodwork, ours a spectacular effort from Dimitar Berbatov, the home team certainly had the best play. Darron Gibson didn´t shower himself in glory and the successful strike partnership from Asia, in Berbatov and Owen, didn´t amount to much in Germany.

It was a heart in mouth when half way through the first half Martin Demichelis lunged at Owen. It is only since looking at the pictures I can see the extent of just how nasty it was. Studs up, nowhere near the ball, and would have warranted a red card in a proper match. After Owen finally managed to get up, he stood bent over for some time holding his knees, clearly in pain. This was all we fucking needed! Fortunately, Owen was running about the pitch in no time and showed no after effects of the horrible challenge.

In the second half we looked far more likely to leave as the winning team, with our attacks far more focussed and threatening. Antonio Valencia adds life to our attack. He´s put in two good performances against two good teams in Munich and I´m looking forward to seeing him in action in the Premiership. He is so good at running at players and taking them on, something Ronaldo seemed to steer away from in his last season with us, so that is great to see. He has no fear as he bursts down the right wing and is more than happy to come inside too. He put in a few good balls last night and it´s clear to see he will be a source of goals when the season starts.

After Berbatov´s woodwork effort in the first half, our best second half chances fell to Owen and Wayne Rooney. The keeper came out quickly to leave Owen with little room to poke it in to the net, whilst Rooney swung wildly from a tight angle to see his effort from close range go high over the bar. Scholes struck from distance too and as he was winding up to take the shot, the Bayern crowd gave a loud´oooooooh´in anticipation.

I was really impressed with the atmosphere, given that it was packed full of kids and families on their fun evening out. They were all prepared to get involved in the chanting and whilst they didn´t have a large song sheet to sing from, instead, just one or two chants, they were loud and enthusiastic. I could have done without all the paper planes being thrown all over the place though. You were ducking and diving to avoid them as they came hurtling from above. In the second half, the planes which reached the pitch received louder cheers than anything their players seemed to do!

So, it came to a penalty shoot-out and that was that. Edwin Van der Sar, who is usually so good at saving penalties, couldn´t do much against the efficient Germans. He tried as hard as he could to put them off by pointing to a certain direction in the goal and strolling to the line, but it had no effect. I would have fancied Patrice Evra to take a better penalty than he did but I wasn´t expecting much from Jonny Evans (who otherwise had a fantastic game for us!). Nani´s penalty was the best of the night, as, like usual, he shows us just how good he can be in small flashes, but Bayern did the best on the night. Oh well.

All in all, great tournament, great trip, great fans. I´ll give a better review of the whole thing once I´m away from the heat of this internet cafe and back in rainy Manchester!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. King Eric says:

    Drew – Yes he does often play centrally for Ecuador and I would imagine he would be good in that role. However he looks excellent down the wing. It could be an option though to allow Nani to play on the right. You know how SAF likes players that can play in more than one position. Can’t see us getting Ribery but like he says David Gill had previously enquired about him in March.

  2. The need says:

    Manchester Useless are finished. Its the blue revolution now. Latest installment Toure. Sorry reds but u are going down with negative 700 million in the bank

  3. flagged says:

    Nani has potential, but that’s the problem,what United need right now is the finished product, someone like Robben or Ribery comes to mind.

    Utd really have to work on that left side, Nani is increasingly inrritating, i know most will say he is doing well so far in pre-season, but really all his “good” performances came against lesser teams like Malaysia, the moment he faced a good team like Bayern he looked really bad, sometimes he tends to overdo things, sometimes he is just not paying attention (did you see Giggs berating him in the Bayern game?), i hope Utd fix the left side problem with a good buy, i would recommend Ribery,Robben or Ashley Young.

    As for Anderson, the guy is brilliant, hardworking and i now know who must take free kicks this coming season! haha

  4. Drew Vader says:

    @ the need — I like your optimsm dude. And “going down with negative 700 million in the bank” is actually kinda funny. Which I am surprised to say after you opened with the childrens joke of Manchester Useless.

  5. Drew Vader says:

    @ King Eric — Yeah I can’t see us getting him either. But I must admit that the potential thought of it does excite me. And who knows, maybe my close personal friend Sir Bobby Charlton had a few words with him yesterday during the match.

  6. Isaidso says:

    Nani skinned LAHM like he was a sausage – and he has a reputation as one of the best full backs in the world! Also SAF should play the players in their best positions and stop this round pegs in square holes syndrome. Seems SAF has had a lot of confessing to do over these last two seasons, with admittting he hadn’t been fair to Rooney or Berbatov playing them continually where they were no where near the quality they could and should be if in their correct positions in the team. NANI RIGHT WINGER, Rooney just behind main striker, Berba up front centrally in and around the box, and same with Owen. Fletcher & Gibbo in the middle of the Park, and we need a MF enforcer, and ball holder. Work on our final ball, and that is all the players – not rocket science is it lol. Nani would become a world beater IF he was given the same encouragement and nurturing that Ronnie had, and I am convinced of that. Agree or disagree guys, that is my honest opinion in this post.

  7. Tony Starks says:

    The need..

    Toure is the latest installment of the revolution? An Arsenal substitute?
    I’m sure the rest of the footballing world are truly s**tting themselves now!

  8. King Eric says:

    The Needy – Fuck off you cunt. Why are you on a United blog on a topic about the Audi cup final? Nowt to do with Citeh. Obsessed. As for Toure is that a boast? He is shit. third choice as well!

  9. King Eric says:

    flagged – Robben? No chance mate, the bloke is a cunt. Would HATE to see him in a United shirt. A filthy dirty cheat. Valencia will be twice the player. Young has just commited to Villa. Nani made “the worlds best full back” look shit last night.

  10. King Eric says:

    Talking of shitty I had to laugh on the MEN site earlier. Alot of the City fans are talking about getting that bloke back who scored the winning pen last night. They are ACTUALLY serious!

  11. Isaidso says:

    @KingEric – hahaha – too true mate! Bayern had to take LAHM off cos Nani ran him ragged. Lahm – tut, Nani had you mate!

  12. Jack says:

    “Nani made “the worlds best full back” look shit last night.”
    didnt know he was playing against evra lol
    wouldnt call lahm the best myself but one of the best

  13. flagged says:

    @ King Eric – yeah i understand the feeling, i still think Utd lack that something special in the squad, that player that could make the difference. i think if hargreaves is back United will be better off as he will take the burden of defending off of Rooney’s back, just my opinion :)


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