Man Utd 2009 Review: Part One

Manchester United started the year in confidence with only two losses and five draws to their name. United were looking for a third successive Premier League title but with hard fixtures against Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal it wasn’t going to be easy.

January

Ferguson’s men started January with a tricky fixture against Chelsea and despite the Londoners entering the fixture looking stronger than the reds, Ferguson’s men shown why they were reining world champions by putting away three goals within only half an hour. After a 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic, United knew that a win at the Reebok would place them top of the table with only four months left of the season. The red devils month went from good to excellent as their finished the month with a magnificent win over West Bromwich Albion putting away five goals in the process.

February

Manchester United’s winning form continued in February with three excellent wins against West Ham United, Fulham and Blackburn Rovers. Their first game of the month, which was against West Ham United, came courtesy of Ryan Giggs’ second half strike. Upon winning their second game against West Ham, United faced a strong Fulham side of whom were riding high in the Barclays Premier League. The cottagers gave a stern fight until United’s first goal in the twelfth minute that was Ferguson’s men later put away two more goals. United also won their last game of the month against Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford two goals to one.

March

The red devils started the month with the chance to win their first piece of silverware of the year as they took on Tottenham Hotspur in the English League Cup Final more commonly known as the Carling Cup. After one hundred and twenty minutes of end to end action, the referee of the day Chris Foy blew the whistle for penalty kicks to decide the winner. Once the penalty shootout was over, Ferguson’s men had won it by four goals to one giving the Red Devils their Carling Cup title. After a successful Carling Cup final, United travelled to St. James Park looking for a ninth successive win. Despite that season being one of the worst in Newcastle history, it wasn’t going to be easy to beat them as Newcastle’s Lovenkrands opened the scoring in the ninth minute. However, a first half strike from Rooney and a second half strike from Berbatov gave the visitors their ninth successful win.

United’s title race was about to come under threat as the reigning champions faced the high flying Liverpool in their second fixture of the campaign. Despite United starting the scoring from a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, several defensive frailties gave the visitors various opportunities which they took advantage of a scored four goals giving United their third loss of the campaign. After a very embarrassing four one home loss, United looked to get their campaign back on track with a visit to Craven Cottage. Despite starting the half looking strong, a seventeen minute hand ball in the area by Paul Scholes resulted in a penalty for the Cottagers and the reds were down to ten men. A Danny Murphy penalty, which gave fulham the first goal, gave the home side the motivation to score a second and get revenge on the United side that beat them three nil at Old Trafford earlier in the year.

April

After two losses in succession, Ferguson’s men looked to take revenge on their next opponent Aston Villa. Despite opening the scoring, Martin O’Neil’s men managed to equalise against the champions by the half hour mark. The second half started as did the first with end to end action until the Midlands side scored again that was. Although United pushed for an equaliser it didn’t come till the eighty first minute when Cristiano Ronaldo indirect free kick in the area hit the back of the net. With the game looking like a draw, United gave a first team debut to young Italian forward Kiko Macheda who later changed the game drastically. With the game well into stoppage time, Macheda decided that his first team debut was going to be one to remember. A sublime curling effort, that looked like it was curling well wide, hit the back of the net giving United their first victory since their two one win at St. James Park.

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