United has had a constant battle for supremacy this year, not abroad as usual but just a few miles down the road.
With Manchester City’s new foreign owners pumping in over one hundred million pounds into their transfer budget, the world’s best players have joined the squad.
Manchester United have not made any new additions to their squad in the January transfer window, yet the performance of young players like Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones, and the return of retired legend Paul Scholes have bridged the gap.
Manchester City and Manchester United are currently tied for first place in the Premier League with 54 points each, five points ahead of 3rd place Tottenham Hotspur.
The rivalry between the two Manchester clubs dates back nearly 150 years when Manchester United were Newton Heath.
The new talent at City makes the rivalry more heated than ever and has the world wondering what is in the water in Manchester.
Tomorrow is the UEFA Champions League draw that will determine what team Manchester will play in the knockout stages of the tournament.
This is now the 16th season that the club has appeared in the Champions League.
United have won the cup three times in the club’s history.
The judges have determined the Reds can play Inter, Milan, Kopenhavn, Roma, Marseille, or Arsenal next.
Inter and Milan have a better UEFA Champions League history, with Inter winning the cup three times, while Milan have won an astonishing seven times.
Manchester United will be prepared for what’s next and will hope to reestablish their Champions League presence.
Manchester United beat rivals Arsenal one to nothing on Monday at Old Trafford.
The shut out now puts the Red Devils in a comfortable first place in the league, with two points ahead of the Gunners.
South Korean international Ji Sung Park opened the scoring with a header from Nani’s cross in the 40th minute.
Manchester will feel they should have scored more than one goal.
A penalty from Wayne Rooney in the 73rd minute sailed over the crossbar, continuing his disappointing scoreless streak.
The rest of the squad should be happy with their impressive performance, particularly the defense, who kept a clean sheet and did not concede any yellow cards.
The Arsenal players however were booked four times.
“The first half was excellent, and we should have done better on the counterattack in the second half. But our back four (defense) did really well,” said Manager Sir Alex Ferguson in a post match interview.
United now have a comfortable lead in the table that they will hope to keep against fourth place Chelsea in less than a week (Dec. 19).
With the upcoming week full of well matched games, Manchester United’s next fixture against Arsenal is the talk of the Premier League.
Currently in second place with 31 points in the table, the Red Devils will play first place Arsenal with 32 points.
The battle for first place will be decided this Monday and personal rivalries are at stake.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have had their share of quarrels and disagreements in the past and the result will give bragging rights to the victor.
“Monday is a massive game but we don’t have any need to fear them,” said United center back Chris Smalling. “We will have 70,000 fans chearing us on. They should be intimidated more than we are.”
Manchester should feel confident having won four of their last six league matches, including the seven goal blowout against Blackburn.
The players will feel this game between the league leaders may be one of the most important fixtures this season.
Particularly because of the fantastic matches the two have played in the past…
Yesterday’s draw at home to Valencia ensures United first place in group C.
Their position guarantees they move on to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Brazilian midfielder Anderson was named man of the match in a one to one game.
Pablo Hernandez scored for Valencia in the 32nd minute.
The score was level in the second half when a deflected shot from Park Ji Sung went directly into the path of Anderson who casually scored the goal.
Sir Alex Ferguson said he was delighted with the performance and with finishing the group stage of the tournament with such an impressive record.
Anderson’s (red) goal in the second half
It was confirmed this week that English striker Danny Welbeck will spend many more years to come with United.
On loan to Sunderland, the young player has been a key part of Sunderland’s recent success.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is also a former Manchester United captain who used to play under current manager Alex Ferguson.
Steve Bruce has expressed interest in signing Danny Welbeck, but Sir Alex was quick to dismiss the rumors.
“He is doing brilliantly and he comes back to us at the end of his loan,” said Sir Alex Ferguson.
The under 21 English International has scored four goals in his past four matches for Sunderland, showing that he has grown in form since his loan spell.
He has had a number of impessive strikes with United including his first goal for the club…
After Dimitar Berbatov’s five goals against Blackburn last week, he is now the top scorer in the Premier League with 11 goals this season.
Sir Alex Ferguson made the right decision to start his key players that match, and Berbatov and Wayne Rooney showed just how well they can play together.
Manchester United now have a big gap in their calender with their next English fixture against Arsenal over two weeks from their last game. (Dec. 13)
Will United use this opportunity to rest before the match against a worthy opponent like Arsenal? Or will Sir Alex go all out with his top players against Valencia CF in the Champions League?
With Berbatov in top form, he will be desperately trying to win the Golden Boot while proving the critics wrong who say “he doesn’t try enough.”