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See You In Moscow Rentboys! – United’s Glory Chances Boosted

All I could think when the referee blew his whistle for extra time was “thank fuck this isn’t us!” I thought Tuesday night was a painful enough experience, but after Liverpool got their away goal, it was game on. First half of extra time, Michael Essien sees his goal ruled out for offside. A minute later, Sami Hyypia fouls Michael Ballack in the area. Penalty. Who’s going to take it? Ballack, who found the back of the net last weekend against us, or Fat Frank, who has possibly been thrown in to the mix prematurely following the death of his mam? Many Chelsea fans weren’t keen on him even starting, fearing he wasn’t emotionally ready for such an important game. He stepped up and put the ball away with ease, giving the advantage back to Chelsea.

Less than ten minutes later, Didier Drogba grabbed his second of the game, seemingly the winning goal for Chelsea. Hyypia is then brought down in the box, right in front of the referee, but he waves play on. This decision will be heavily reflected on considering Ryan Babel scored from distance with four minutes left to play, which could have brought the teams level at 3-3, with Liverpool going through. About time they had some luck not in their favour for a change.

Regardless, after a nervy final few minutes, Chelsea got the result and will be our opponents in the European Cup final. Despite the joy a win over the dippers in the Cup final would bring us, the alternative was too much to bear. These next three weeks would have been agony. Accute excitement mixed in with destroying worry. However, with Chelsea the winners, last night was an evening of continued celebration.

The knowledge that Liverpool will go another year without winning a thing, doomed to yet another season of failure, after coming nowhere near competing for the title, is enough to leave me smiling for a few days yet. However, I think Liverpool’s elimination from the competition only boosts our chances of success in both the league and Champions League. Why?

1. Liverpool have plenty of recent history in the European Cup under Benitez. I’d be far more worried about the tactical threat Benitez posed over Grant. Credit to Chelsea making it to the final, but they’re being lead by a man who couldn’t even win the League Cup this season. His tactics in the final against Spurs were absolutely shocking and I’d much rather see Fergie measure up against him than Benitez, who has been there and done it all before. Not only the manager, but the players too. This would have been Liverpool’s third European Cup final in 4 years. Whilst still a massive occasion, it is nothing in comparison to the Chelsea lads, whose club, in their entire history, have never made this final before, and therefore could be overawed by the whole experience.

2. The title will be going down to the wire, meaning Chelsea’s players will be as physically and mentally exhausted as ours. In contrast, Liverpool have 4th place wrapped up, meaning they could play their reserves in the last two games of the league, leaving their first team fully refreshed and mentally prepared. Chelsea, after playing a gruelling two hours of football last night, have to travel up to Newcastle, who over the past 8 matches have the 4th best run of form in the league. By the time we’re in Moscow, Chelsea will certainly be more physically drained than Liverpool would have been.

3. Chelsea reaching the final might also enhance our league chances. Their players will certainly now have one eye on the final but without having the players of the experience to guide them through it. Giggs, Neville and Scholes have been there and done this before. They know how to secure both the league and European titles in one season and should bestow this advice on our younger players.

Chelsea in Moscow, is this the best result for United?

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. Stephen says:

    I think so, we deserve a chance at revenge after Saturdays result.

    What really got on my nerves was Sevchenko high fiving another rent boy when he cleared Fletchers header off the line. I thought they felt that they had won the league.

    We must beat them especially as Carragher said he wants Chelsea to beat us!!

  2. spindle says:

    Not so sure it is best result. Chelsea at full strength are a tougher proposition than Liverpool and you only have to look at the league table and current form to see that. That said, with Scholes pulling the strings alongside Hargreaves and brown going to full back with Vidic returning and with Rooney and Ronaldo still having something to prove, the hunger of Tevez and the Mastery of Fergie; it all adds up to a long over due triumphant night for the red devils in Moscow

  3. austin reynolds says:

    right result cos i couldnt bare to watch the scouse gits get lucky against us. although beating them would have been superb!
    wrong result cos chelsea under grant, despite losing a cup final to spurs in extra time are better all round than liverpool under anyone. FACT.
    chelsea were poor last season, poorer at the start of this but have recovered remarkably under grant whos been without a lot of top players this season and had to and is still having to , prove himself to people in as well as outside the club.
    i hope our players, as im sure SAF wont, be underestimating chelski cos of him! im still quite amazed at how everyman and his dog seems to think grant is poor just because the rent boys and fools in the media say hes not good enuf to fill the “special ones!” shoes!
    given the circumstances that he took the job and the trouble he must of had focusing the minds and getting his own players onside, hes done BRILLIANTLY, it HAS to be said.!

  4. chrispus says:

    forget saturday, if united play to their full potential and with a full squad, nobody and i mean NOBODY can live with us. having said that Scott, im beginning to wonder how our seson will shape up next year if we have to play the WORLD CLUB CUP IN DECEMBER- a month with 6 league games and two cup games.

  5. Ronnie says:

    I agree with chris, if we do play to r full potenial we will win, howeverit’s a 1 off game and anything can happen, lets hope the big occasion doesnt get 2 the players!!!

    the hype will be around chelsea and how they were written off when grant took over and u’ll here a lot of bulls*** about how much chelsea r a time of leaders and winners with the ex-england captain Terry chatting bout how it’s their year! at the end of the day its about hu turns up on the night!

    lets hope its the mighty reds!!!

  6. Hans David says:

    Couldn’t agree you more on the analysis about our chances had we are to meet Liverpool in the final.

    Tough, there are some several facts that could favor Chelsea’s in the final tough :
    1. It is going to be held in Moscow, I do believe the crowd will be behind them for the “Abramovic” factor.
    2. They have a bunch of hungry players. Ballack has been there with Bayer Leverkusen, and I do believe he could somehow fuck us up. Lampard is highly motivated for his mom, Sheva also have the experience of done it big time despite the fact that he is shit in Chelsea.
    3. I can’t believe I am saying this, Drogba is a cunt but he is a winner as well, definitely one of the fearless striker out there.

    By all that I just hope United will finish them off. And for fuck’s sake I hope Vidic and Rooney will be at 100% on the match day.

  7. Faizan says:

    cen anyone tell me why we call chelsea rentboys?

  8. DuudeLove says:

    well if Cech handles shots from Scholes the way he dealt with Babel’s thenwe needn’t worry!


    put the vodka on ice!

  9. UnitedBlogger says:

    Have to disagree with you there. The scousers have been easy to beat and our record against them shows that. Chelsea always seem to be up for it against us and will surely be. Also unlike scousers, they have quality all over the park and can get personnel from the bench to change things. Ballack, Essien, Cech the mad man and Drogba up front. Scousers don’t even come close. They may have recent success in the CL but I think they would’ve been much easier opponents.
    In terms of Fergie V Grant or Benitez, well in games like this it is the 11 ppl you put out there that win or lose you the game.
    Our stats just don’t stack up well against Chelsea in the last 12 games and this is definitely not a better draw for us.

    Having said that, no form or history matters in games like this – if we play our game, we will win.

  10. Whiteside10 says:

    Not sure about tose points either…
    1. Chelsea don’t have enough experience? In my opinion, Chelsea have enough players who have played in big games, so I don’t think they’ll be too overawed by the occasion..

    2. The title race going to the wire? I don’t think this will be an issue – as far as I’m concerned, United will have 10 days to prepare for this game, get everyone fit and ready, which I think is enough time… you don’t want your players having too long a break between big games. It’s only really an issue in terms of if anyone gets injured between now and May 21.

    3. This point is a possibility, in so much that Chelsea have had to win every game for the last three months or so, so hopefully the strain of that could take its toll.

    Anyway, all of that said, for me it comes down to a couple of things. I’m confident United will win, because we’ve got a bigger goal threat and a better defence than Chelsea. Simple as that. Just as long as we don’t have any more diabolical refereeing decisions go against us (I’m thinking Boro and Blackburn away), we should be OK.

  11. Scott the Red says:

    Whiteside, there are big games, and there are BIG games. CFC have never seen their team compete in the European Cup final before. FA and League Cup finals are incomparable.

  12. Tom F says:

    The only time Benitez has beaten us while in charge of Liverpool is in a CUP competition, the Scousers have that bit of luck in the Cups and I’d have been ecstatic if we beat them in the final but the loss would have taken the gloss off of a League double and SAF’s 10th title big time.

    I am happy to see the Scouse fans sad and know that Chelseas support is so far up it’s own arse that one week they’ll boo Avram and the next he’s a legend. The lonf over-due titles they won left them senseless and I’d not like to see Abromovich proved right when it comes to sacking Jose.

    Benitez has been very lucky in the European Cup but fair play to him, he’s been to the final twice already and that is enough to make me want to play Chelsea. Liverpools squad has played in 2 finals in the last 3 years, so to say Ballack and Sheva have is a point not woth talking about.

    I can’t wait but I’d rather win the league..

    Then pay Chelsea back for beating us at Wembley last year!

  13. UnitedRay says:

    Dippers still easy meat compared to the rentboys. Period.


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