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VIDEO: Valencia vs CSKA Moscow

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. denton davey says:

    sone Keano – I don’t dispute that Scholes had a good game but I don’t think he was UTD’s best player; the formation was set up to enable him “to play the game in a rocking chair” and he did that perfectly. But, unlike the GingerNinja of days gone by, he provides little attacking bite any more – his long, long speculative shot would have been a goal as a result of a keeper’s blunder NOT his own effort.

    Similarly, Fabio benefitted from having Nani play a great two-way game in front of him. At the beginning, Fabio was caught out by the blond-haired Serb but he learned his lesson and was more defensively responsible.

    Actually, watching the left-sided combination – which is much better when Evra plays – brings up an interesting point: What position does patrice Evra play ? I know he’s listed as a “full back” but he’s often so deep in the attacking zone that the team is effectively playing with a back three.

    In ice hockey – which is a similar game in its territorial organization and analagous in its scoring methods (i.e., both games have a net/goal and a keeper) – there was a method called the “left wing lock” which has been all the rage for the past ten years. Basically, one attacking defenceman charges forward and the winger on the other side rotates into the fullback’s position while the other-side fullback is also deployed in the back four which slides to cover the zone the attacking defenceman has vacated. Watching footie on the television makes it pretty much impossible to see how UTD “compensate” to provide cover for Evra’s forward forays and I’d very much like to hear from some of you match-goers about this.

    When Evra/Giggs play together on the left UTD have a dynamic attacking duo. Nani doesn’t YET play in that role as well as Giggs – but he’s getting better all the time. It seems to me that the complementarity of the Evra/Giggs duo is a fantastic asset and SAF has used it to compensate for the loss of Ronaldo in a very effective fashion.

    What makes these musings even more interesting – at least, I think so – is that “the future” is going to be set up with Evra/Fabio/Rafael in those attacking full-back roles, linking with their wingers, to provide real fireworks. I think, however, that this kind of “system” is going to work best with solid holding midfielders like Hargreaves, Fletcherinho, and – gasp ! – John O’Shea, who can all “rotate” into a situational back-four as the situation demands.

    I know that most “fans” and journalists don’t credit SAF with the tactical ingenuity to have come up with this kind of “system” but it seems evident that he is doing just that. It’s kinda like with Ryan Giggs, he’s not getting older he’s getting better. I thought that the loss of Ronaldo would be very difficult to overcome but it would appear that the transition is just-about seamless. That’s very impressive. Very, very impressive.

  2. King Eric says:

    Kel – “He’s a bit fat”. Superb.

    If only we had bought Benzema for forty million and Aguero for Fifty two million. Jokers.

  3. King Eric says:

    Fze123 – What more do you expect from talk “dipper” sport? Full of the fuckers. Quinny, Collymore, Martin, Houghton. I really don’t know why I listen to it on the way home but I just cannot help myself. It must be some kind of perverse way of getting myself that worked up I could quite easily hunt down and murder the cunt Collymore. He is a fucking loser, a bird beating spice boy two bit ex footballer who won fuck all. Who is he to start slagging the likes of SAF and United in general? I heard a clip of the fucker on the radio last night when the dippers scored. You should have heard him. Going mental he was. His anti – United stance is becoming farcical.

  4. rooninho says:


    i see your point about akinfeev’s cv up until now, and i was impressed with his performance at euro 2008. he seems to read the game naturally and is athletic. as far as being their best player today, well most opposing goalkeepers are their teams best player’s when playing united after having to survive their constant pressure.

    i have a strong bias for the level of competition in the premier league vs. the rest of the world. i don’t rate the russian premier league anywhere near the english premier league, and i don’t rate being the russian national keeper anywhere near being manchester united’s no.1.

    tim howard is a great keeper for everton, was the mls keeper of the year 2001, was pfa keeper of the year at united, and is the u.s. no.1. but he still struggled to cope with the mental pressure of being united’s no. 1.

    i think united need a no. 1 keeper with top flight experience who has won big trophies. a bronze trophy means you won nothing. i can’t see akinfeev on the same level as van der sar just yet. calling him “good a times” is really meant as”UNITED GOOD- at times” which is a whole other level entirely.

  5. King Eric says:

    denton – Hi mate. Some great points as ever. I can’t say that United really do compensate in anyway for Evra’s “forays” forward. Usually Vidic or another central defender will just step across a few paces. Occasionally I think Carrick may just sit back as well. As for John O Shea I too thought he was excellent in the holding role tonight. Always did rate him playing that position though when he was one of our only options .

  6. King Eric says:

    If we are talking young keepers from what I have seen I prefer Neuer. Alot taller and commanding . In the Scheimcel vain.

  7. denton davey says:

    King Eric – I had hoped to be able to come to M/C for a week in April this coming year but that looks doubtful now. I’d love to get together with you and a few of the other bloggers to watch a match from the Stretford End and, even more, to see a reserve match at Carrington – close to the field – and celebrate UTD’s 20th EPL title. Maybe in 2011.

  8. theres only one Keano says:

    King Eric
    I like ray houghton he is a fair pundit and says it has it is same has alan hanson. I agree refure the tall comanding keepers most GK should all be tall because of the amount of crosss that are whipped in. but I disagree o shea should be put in CM he is just not mobile enough, it was perfect for him tonight because moscow were never really attacking united.

  9. theres only one Keano says:

    howords mental strength was not the reason, howord never recovered from the horror show united put in when ferdinand got suspended and uniteds defence collapsed and howord went went with the defence. if ferdinand never got suspended we may have had howord no 1 now because his confidence was high and he was settling well with the strong backline.

  10. Wakey says:

    I don’t understand the couple of people saying “Anderson Needs to Work on his shooting” in relation to his chance near the end. His shot was going in but the defenders touch was enough to put it wide. Its not like he put it wide himself. All you can ask is the shot is going to be on target and thats what he did.

    On Nani I can see both pov. He was both great but also frustrating in the game and often both in the same move. He was a real threat and did some great things but all too often his crossing was poor. The strange thing is imho he has perhaps the most dangerous cross from a corner in our team but in open play his crosses rarely go into a danger area where they can be attacked

  11. Rio merks 'em says:

    Scare mongers out in force, it was a good away performance from every1.

    Berba was frustrated & every1 blames Nani? News flash Berbs, the lone striker is ALWAYS frustrated! just ask Rooney!

    Like him or not, Nani is a weapon. His 1st time cross was crap because he is playing on the left!!! He’s right footed,not as much as bloody Peg-leg right-foot rocket Ant, but he is OUR weapon. 24-27yrs is a proven peaking age. There is more to come! Believe!!!!

    & forget talking about bloody Silva! He’s over-rated! Llajic will be making him look like a constipated Darren Anderton come January! And you will all forget that buck-toothed spanish ponce ever existed! Bloody Silva…

    Obertan or Tosic > Silva in 2 years – Future Fact!

    @ King Eric, Fse & others that brave radio – The ABUness is definately a media bitch at the club! I’ve noticed that highlights (esp on MOTD!) are edited to make us seem ultra-desperate at times!? Constantly talking about us ‘winning by own goals’, ‘hanging on to wins’… and the Ron speak.. oooh the Ron speak! To whoever that said they mis him like an ex-girlfriend you have to go & get yerself laid son! Maybe go out to Bourdeux & get a young filly like SAF did???

    I am fine with the way the team is playing but part of me just wants us to put turbo boosts on and murder teams 4-0, 4-1 again! Solely to shut these media cunts up and force them to suck UTD’s cock again. Having Collybore do sludge forfiets for every goal Valencia scores on MUTV would be magic!! And get ex-player like Cole & Yorke on radio!?? Maybe a footie meets dub remix??
    [The Man - 'Get the marketing guys on this stuff!']
    Irwin was on ITV tho… I fear they may have already read my mind… :o 0

  12. grein says:

    Valencia seems very humble, I like it.

  13. Always Be Closing says:

    @grein – quite; he’s similar to Berbatov but when Dimi scores something great/important he shows his passion with a good ol’ shout to the crowd. Let’s hope for something against ‘Pool, he deserves it!

  14. rooninho says:


    i’m a big fan of tim howard. never thought he was given a fair amount of games at united. how in the hell he was behind roy carroll i’ll never know.

    just think he was too young to be the no.1 keeper at united which i think is the hardest gk position in the world. the pressure to remain at the top of the table and to be the world’s best team creates an almost impossible amount of pressure for even the greatest keepers. nothing less than perfect form is required by united supporters, and the slightest weakness is magnified a million times.

    i think only a world class keeper of great experience can survive being united’s no.1 in this current era. howard has great skills, and yes the defence was less with rio’s ban, but i would argue that there was still more quality in united’s remaining defenders that season than in everton’s current squad which howard excels in.

    the difference is is the pressure and importance of the matches. if howard or akinfeev play well then they are heroes, but if they commit a howler it is usually forgiven because of their overall qaulity as keepers and the lower profile of their club and countries.

    foster has looked a good prospect in the past at clubs like watford, because his skills excelled in a lower pressure environment. at the world’s biggest club – manchester united any mistake he makes does cannot escape scrutiny, and could mean elimination from a major trophy.

    i still don’t believe it is the right thing to place any excellent young keeper in that situation, as we supporters will not put up with “learning on the job.”

  15. Rio merks 'em says:

    @ Grein me too! Quite refreshing! He is his own worst critic like all good players should be!

  16. Drew Vader says:

    Let me first say that I thought JOS did well tonight, and I was surprised by that. But I gotta admit to being frustrated with how stingy SAF is with giving the youngsters minutes. I mean, JOS is a defender correct, and not a holding CM. And we have Gibson who SAF will talk up and say is a quality player and he wants to hold on to him, but then he doesn’t play him. It would be so frustrating for the lad to see a defender get picked ahead of you in a match like this… Same can be said for Berba playing the full 90 mins tonight. He didn’t look up for it, he was frustrated and wasn’t contributing all that much. So why not pull him off and put on Kiko for a 30 min run out? At least he could provide some effort and some energy up front. Of course, Berba then pops up and gets the lucky assist, but STILL, its frustrating.

    Fabio was outstanding btw. I am a huge fan of the Da Silva twins.

  17. says:

    i would have to say watching the “champions” barcelona get beat by rubin kazan at home was the greatest thing in the last 2 days….Platini was probably crying over that one….with some of the recent results, we could end up going against Real/Barca/Inter/liverpool in the next round.
    Valencia, lets smile more often!

  18. the scottish wonder says:

    spot on Drew Vader

  19. Zainab MUFC 10 says:

    Fabio was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT the lad can surely defend and attack. He’s 18 years old and hes a pleasure to watch, Imagine when he’s just a bit older..
    Valencia is really settling in the team, and he is also a joy to watch, Berba hate the role of lone striker you could tell but as usuall he made a brilliant assist to Antonio.
    Overall great performance by the Reds, when the other Big names stutter ( barca, real, livo, arsenal) then the reds are right their with a win.. wait were supposed aren’t to be struggling ?

  20. kel says:

    @Fze123: The same goes for me. Imagine what will happen if VDS retire? Foster could be more nervous and less confident than now. We need strong characters to be in goal.

    I agree Nani crossing is poor at times. But if he can become that good, then he is the best player in the world. No one is perfect. Experience come perfect. Pace for me is the most important thing as it can’t be train. Crossing, football brain will come with experience. Berbatov is becoming another Rooney and i mention i don’t quite like it. Why not concentrate on the ball and get on with the game?

  21. Corea says:

    @ Drew Vader

    “Fabio was outstanding btw. I am a huge fan of the Da Silva twins.”

    LOL. We ARE huge fans ;)
    Was thrilled to see Fabio play. I want him to challenge Patrice Evra place and i want him to be our first choice LB. Then we’ll see how easy-going and possitive Pat would be.

    There is no need to rate the players after yesterday’s game. We played a calculated game and won 3 points. Job done, roll on Sunday.

  22. Mikael says:

    Eric – I also would prefer Neuer. If you look at his style it’s more like VDS then Foster or Akinfeev… although I still hope that Foster will wake up I feel it’s more of a dream then a possibility

  23. Hugo Lloris says:

    is the bomb.

  24. Datnana says:

    Concerning vds, he’s becoming too difficult to replace. The young ones don’t have the courage to be united 1st choice in the bip matches.there’s more to being united no.1. In searching, we shouldn’t be looking at keepers who hardly concede goals but the strong-minded,experienced and bold ones. Go for experience,even if it means having to replace them every other year.the youngies are not up to it.should have taken shay given. Friedel? James? Go to the Americas,find the chilavert or campos types.

  25. r8devil says:

    @Drew Vader – I wish SAF would also give the younger players a chance during the game and save the rest of them for the dippers game this weekend. But I can understand what SAF was doing. He was looking for at least a draw from the game to at least get us closer to the 10 pts we need. JOS has more experience and with him being a mainly defender, it makes the team stronger defensively. As for Berba, SAF could have thought that it would not make any difference which team he put out this weekend so might as well try to get some pts out of this CL game. With the current form of the dippers, we could play the reserves and still win, not to disrespect our reserves.

  26. Datnana says:

    Concerning vds, he’s becoming too difficult to replace. The young ones don’t have the courage to be united 1st choice in the big matches.there’s more to being united no.1. In searching, we shouldn’t be looking at keepers who hardly concede goals but the strong-minded,experienced and bold ones. Go for experience,even if it means having to replace them every other year.the youngies are not up to it.should have taken shay given. Friedel? James? Go to the Americas,find the chilavert or campos types.

  27. thesavage says:

    The Red Army rumbles on. Nice team goal, decent finish, I just hope the lad Valencia takes confidence from this and starts playing a bit more aggressively in the future.

    Hopefully Rooney will be back to help take the Scousers to bits, Owen grabbing a last minute winner would be ideal, but I just want the 3 points from the dippers back yard however we get it.

  28. islandred says:

    I have to say I couldn’t believe how poor CSKA were last night. Before the match, I’d have been happy with a draw. I’ve saw some of their matches in the Champions League before, and they used to have some decent players like Wagner Love and Daniel Carvalho (not to mention the brilliant city centre forward Jo!)

    Thought Nani played quite well, probably his best performance in a long time.

    He just needs to be more decisive and pick the right cross or pass in the right time.

    Berba was unlucky when he control let him down and the ‘keeper managed to get to the ball before him, but he proved his worth with a wonderful touch to set Valencia up.

    Fabio played really well, and Anderson covered a lot of ground – so unlucky with that deflected effort at the end.

    Not too sure what to make of Akinfeev, he seemed comfortable enough, and didn’t really have too much to do considering, apart from one fine save from Nani’s diving header.

    All in all, a professional job well done, and a good win at OT next time out, and we’re home and dry, with the likes of Macheda, Welbeck, Gibson et all to get some minutes under their belts.

    PS, Does anyone know what’s happened with Possebon? Was he sent back to Old Trafford, or did he stay with Boavista?

  29. islandred says:

    Obviously not Boavista, Braga I meant!

  30. cantona7 says:

    @Drew Vader i agree with you. I have been a big fan of JOS since he nutmegged Luis Figo. He is a world class versatile football player.

  31. thedevil85 says:

    great result last night, never beaten russians before.
    well even at this early stage wer doin fuckin brill in league, cl and every thing compared to recent seasons but we still took the title so need to really TURN the screw on these vermin eating scum, and rub salt in wounds for 5 straight losses for livershit!hahahahahahahahahaahah
    then to kill the scouse off mickey owen for final goal in front of the flop ten minutes after nev thumpes a header in!
    fuckin dreamin now with the nev bit (maybe not!)
    hope colleen has healthy baby today or tomaz so big wayne can play to score the first.
    revenge for last season is on the cards, even tho doin the double over us never got them far DID IT. they thought it was there year againheyheyhey

  32. King Eric says:


    IslandRed – Not too sure mate whats happened to Possebon. There was a silly rumour going round that he was being sent back as he was shit for Braga after just one game. Think it was bollocks myself but as far as I know he aint back at United.

  33. islandred says:

    King Eric

    Yeah, I’d saw they were top of the Portuguese league, just wondered how he was doing, because I’d saw the story about him being sent back myself.

    Hopefully he’ll not be another Manucho

  34. Swissdevil says:

    Hi mates! Is it just me or do you also think that valencia doesn’t really celebrates his goals?

  35. Hurdy Gurdy Man says:

    I know its off topic but does anybody remember Drago Stojkovic. Well hes the manager of a J-League team in Japan now. He got sent off at the weekend for this. Absolutely class.

  36. Hurdy Gurdy Man says:

    sorry that link doesnt work this one does:

  37. UnitedFor19 says:

    is it jus me or that cross by Gazza jus beautiful?

    off topic… a thought came to me.. imagine m. owen got 19 for shirt and celebrated a win at anfield… wouldn that be symbolic?? :P


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