Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2013

Reactions To Victory Over Sunderland

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1. Can you imagine being told in May that the next time we came to the Stadium of Light we would finish the game 18 points clear? I don't think anything could have brightened our mood that day but it certainly would have helped. If there was to be any silver lining to the painful last minute of last season it was that Sir Alex Ferguson could use the hurt and disappointment to our advantage.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Sunderland vs United

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De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Buttner, Valencia, Anderson, Carrick, Young, Kagawa, Van Persie.

Bench: Lindegaard, Evra, Evans, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverley, Powell.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Rose, O'Shea, Bramble, N'Diaye, Gardner, McClean, Johnson, Sessegnon, Graham.

"CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Sunderland vs United" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Sunderland fan on O’Shea’s passing, O’Neill’s future and Rooney’s grudge

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Following the celebration of Manchester City's last minute title win by fans at the Stadium of Light last season, Manchester United have the opportunity to put one hand on the trophy whilst also pushing Sunderland closer to the relegation zone. Depending on results, Sunderland could find themselves 17th in the league if United beat them and Aston Villa win.

Sunderland v Manchester United preview – United aim to break more records

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Sunderland v Manchester United
English Premier League
Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Saturday 30 March, 2013
12:45 GMT

Manchester United will be looking to move 18 points clear of Manchester City in the title race, with a difficult away trip to Sunderland.

England Fans Reported For Racist Chants About Rio… But Was It Racist?

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Following Rio Ferdinand's withdrawal from the England squad, this country has shown a bizarre overreaction, both in the media and by fans. Rio's back troubles meant he went through a phase of playing a handful of games of season but over the past couple of years the medical team at United has managed to keep our defender in good condition, thanks to a strict regime.

VIDEO: Class of 1999 vs Class of 2013

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With Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke said to have a telepathic understanding during the Treble winning season, with them becoming the highest scoring partnership in Europe, our current strikers have attempted to match them. When blindfolded, which set of strikers is most effective?

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Bet: 99 vs 13

"VIDEO: Class of 1999 vs Class of 2013" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Macheda: My Dreams Came True At United

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Federico Macheda came from nowhere, an almost unknown youth player, to score one of our most important goals in the past few years after coming off the bench against Aston Villa in 2009. In his next game, against Sunderland, he scored less than a minute after coming on the pitch.

It seemed as though Macheda had a bright future ahead of him but after lack of playing time for United and disappointing loan spells at Sampdoria and QPR, his career hasn't gone in the direction everyone was hoping.

RvP: Arsenal’s Lack Of Trophies Turned Me Grey

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The last trophy Robin van Persie lifted was the FA Cup in 2005 when United were robbed by Arsenal at Cardiff. Both teams were "in transition" at the time with Chelsea easily winning the league.

Since then, United have won four league titles, the European Cup, three League Cups and the World Club Cup, whilst Arsenal have won nothing.

Macheda: I Didn’t Even Get A Medal After Villa Goal

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Manchester United went behind twice against Aston Villa towards the end of the 2009 season, with it looking as though we were prepared to concede the title to Liverpool, which would have made it 19-17 to them.

With half an hour left to play and at 2-1 down, Federico Macheda was subbed on for Nani.

Van Persie: United Could Be My Last Club

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Robin van Persie has today revealed that Manchester United could be the last club he plays for as we take care of and value older players.

"For the next few years I will be at Manchester United and maybe longer. United could be my last club," he said. "You have a number of clubs in Europe where older players can find it good, where they are valued.

VIDEO: Van Persie’s Goals Against Romania

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Robin van Persie puts Holland 2-0 up against Romania, before making it 3-0. He is now 7 goals away from being Holland's all time top scorer.

"VIDEO: Van Persie's Goals Against Romania" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Rooney’s Goal Against Montenegro

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MON 0-1 ENG by Samu300

Wayne Rooney put England 1-0 up against Montenegro. He is now 15 goals away from being England's all time top scorer.

"VIDEO: Rooney's Goal Against Montenegro" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Kagawa Scores For Japan

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Shinji Kagawa scored for Japan in their 2-1 defeat against Jordan.

"VIDEO: Kagawa Scores For Japan" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Chicharito Scores Two More For Mexico

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szólj hozzá: Honduras vs Mexico 2:2 GOALS HIGHLIGHTS

On Friday, Javier Hernandez scored goals for Mexico in their 2-2 draw with Honduras. He has now scored 30 goals in 45 games for his country. Only five players have scored more goals for Mexico than Hernandez.

"VIDEO: Chicharito Scores Two More For Mexico" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Five United Players In England’s Starting XI

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Following Rio Ferdinand's withdrawal from the England squad, the same tiresome journalists have trotted out their usual anti-United bile.

Martin Samuel from The Daily Mail even went as far as suggesting that United actively worked against the national team, and that is the reason why so many people in this country hate us.

VIDEO: Rooney and Young Goals vs San Marino

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SMA0INGL4 by Samu300


SMA0ING6 by Samu300


"VIDEO: Rooney and Young Goals vs San Marino" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Hodgson Refuses To Condemn England Fans For Anti-Rio Chants

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During England's 8-0 win over San Marino last night, fans in the stands started chanting "Rio Ferdinand fuck off".

England manager, Roy Hodgson, was asked about the chanting but refused to criticise them.

"Of course I heard it. I'm not deaf. But I've absolutely no comment to make on it.

UEFA Get It Wrong – Racism vs Fergie

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Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined €10,000 for refusing to speak to the media following Manchester United's unjust exit from the Champions League.

Last month UEFA fined Inter Milan €15,000 after their fans racially abused Mario Balotelli. Last year, Manchester City were fined more by UEFA for coming out late for the second half than Porto were for their fans racially abusing Balotelli in that game.

VIDEO: Brilliant Valencia Assist

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Antonio Valencia assisted Ecuador's opening goal in their 5-0 win over El Salvador.

"VIDEO: Brilliant Valencia Assist" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

De Gea: Barca? I Want To Stay In Manchester

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The press in this country are very confused about David de Gea. One minute they are highlighting every mistake as though he is one of the worst keepers in the league and the next they are claiming he is about to join Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Following stories linking him with a return to Spain, De Gea has claimed he would like to return one day, but wants to stay in Manchester for a long time and win a lot of trophies first.

Reasons For Every Red To Be Cheerful

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It's been a strange kind of season. Any reasonable United fan would have bitten your hand off at the start of the season for a fifteen point lead at the top and a shot at the FA Cup by late March. And yet, one miserable week at the start of the month saw dreams of the treble drift into the ether and the double become a far more challenging prospect.

Gerrard Sticks The Knife In Rio

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Following the disgraceful treatment of Rio Ferdinand by Roy Hodgson and the FA, our defender was finally called up to the England squad for the World Cup qualifying games against San Marino and Montenegro. Whilst it was clear the player wanted to represent his country again, the manager hinted that there might be some issues because of Rio's personalised programme to ensure he avoids injury.

De Gea: Fergie Is More Than A Manager

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David de Gea has hailed the influence of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, claiming that he isn't just a manager, but a father figure for the players.

"Sir Alex is more than a manager," said De Gea. "He controls everything in the team. He's a father for all those who come to the club.

VIDEO: Zaha Scores Screamer For England U21s

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Inglaterra U21 1-0 Rumania U21 (Gol de Zaha... by DaniDV

Wilfried Zaha made it 1-0 for England U-21s in their win over Romania.

"VIDEO: Zaha Scores Screamer For England U21s" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Van Persie: UEFA Are Cowardly For Backing Ref

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Robin van Persie is still frustrating by the ridiculous decision to send Nani off during our Round of 16 game against Real Madrid.

According to the Laws of the game, at worst it was a yellow card, but the referee incorrectly opted to send Nani off. FIFA Law 12: If a player plays in a dangerous manner in a "normal" challenge, the referee should not take any disciplinary action.

RoM Reads

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By Far The Greatest Team looks at Riogate.

Kissed the Badge shows Shinji Kagawa up as a serial badge kisser.

The Mirror reports on the criticism Rio has faced for going to Qatar.

ESPN reports on Joe Hart's claim that United are a killing machine.

"RoM Reads" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

De Gea: Big Step In My Career

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David de Gea has been called up to the Spain national team for their World Cup qualifying games against Finland and France, following the injury of Real Madrid's Iker Casillas.

"I am very pleased and happy," he told As. "This is a special moment for me and a big step in my career.

RoM Reads

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By Far The Greatest Team looks at the FA decision on McManaman, with reference to Rooney, Nani and Evans.

Beautifully Red has the best moments in GIF form from our win over Reading.

The Guardian criticises Roy Hodgson's handling of Rio Ferdinand.

The Mirror reports on the possibility of playing Michael Carrick in defence for England.

PICTURE: A brilliant Owen moment (not the derby!)

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As expected, many fans didn't warm to Michael Owen during his three seasons at Manchester United. Still, thanks to that late winner against City, in one of the best derbies ever, Owen's name is in our history books.

Yesterday he announced he would be retiring at the end of the season and so it's probably only fair we mention it.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Reading

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De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Buttner, Welbeck, Giggs, Anderson, Young, Rooney, van Persie.

Join bwin for a free £20 bet for United vs Reading

"CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Reading" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Ahead Of Our Game Against Reading

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Following the desperately disappointing and unjust result against Real Madrid, I was expecting United to come out fighting against Chelsea in the Cup last weekend. We went 2-0 up without needing to play well but then fell to pieces in the second half.

Time For Rio To Turn Hodgson Down? In-depth Look At His England Past

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Sir Alex Ferguson has regularly been accused of trying to pull his players from International games so that they are in peak condition for the club, but he has long denied this and instead claimed he was happy to see his players representing their countries. You can see logic in this, as long as we're not talking about friendlies.

Fergie: No Idea Why Benitez Is Talking Nonsense

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After United drew with Chelsea in the Cup last weekend, Rafa Benitez that claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson snubbed his offer for a handshake before the game. The press asked Benitez why the United manager would do such a thing, to which he replied: "Ask him if you are brave enough ask him. It was his decision.

RoM Reads

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By Far The Greatest Team has individual player stats for United vs Reading (including Chicharito having the best goals/minute rate in the league)

Red Flag Flying High discusses Valencia's poor form.

Beautifully Red has the best GIFs from February.

Sky Sports report on PSG distancing themselves from any interest in Wayne Rooney.

Smalling: My Dreams Have Come True

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Chris Smalling, who was playing for non-league Maidstone United five years ago, has spoken about how his dreams have come true, despite once believing he wouldn't make it.

Smalling, who grew up supporting Arsenal,chose Manchester United over his boyhood club in January 2010 and has gone from strength to strength since moving to Old Trafford.

VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Reading Fan On Kagawa, Crying On The Telly and Di Canio The Fascist

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United take on Reading this weekend with the aim of stopping the rot we had to endure last week. Getting knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid before blowing a 2-0 lead against Chelsea made for a pretty depressing couple of games. We need to turn it around tomorrow and you would imagine that relegation fodder, Reading, who have just sacked their manager, might be a good place to start to get us smiling again.

Rio Ferdinand Back In England Squad

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Rio Ferdinand has been selected to play for England again, after Roy Hodgson picked the likes of Phil Jones and Martin Kelly ahead of him for the Euros last summer.

Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck are also in the squad which will face San Marino and Montenegro.

Yank-Hating Fans?

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As a football fan, you quite often read nonsense that is written about your club, written by out of touch journalists who have long forgotten how it feels to support a club, if they ever supported one at all. Some journalists feel the need to judge football fans, to criticise them, to tell them how they should behave and what they should think.

Solskjaer: Giggs Is After My Dream Job

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Having won back to back titles with Molde, a club that had never won the league before, in his first two years of management, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is regularly linked with jobs in the Premier League. It goes without saying that United fans would love for him to be good enough to manage our club one day.

Date Confirmed For Chelsea Replay

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Manchester United will face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-final replay on Monday April 1st with a 12.30 kick-off. United face Sunderland in an early kick-off on Saturday March 30th.

It has also been confirmed that West Ham away will be played on Wednesday April 17th at 7.45pm.

"Date Confirmed For Chelsea Replay" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

RoM Reads

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By Far The Greatest Team looks at the future of width at United.

Beautifully Red has the best moments from the Chelsea game in GIF form.

Red Flag Flying High wonders whether time is running out for Tom Cleverley.

The Guardian debates the value of the away goals rule.

The Evening News reports on Bryan Robson's view of Danny Welbeck.

VIDEO: 1992/1993 Season Review

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"VIDEO: 1992/1993 Season Review" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

RoM Reads

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By Far The Greatest Team looks as Santiago Bernabeu and Matt Busby's relationship.

The Guardian has five talking points from the Chelsea game.

The Mirror looks at the possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo's return, which has Sir Bobby Charlton's blessing.

The Independent reflects on Rio's praise for Carrick and the 'ball of the season'.

Confirmed line-up: United vs Chelsea

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De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Nani, Kagawa, Rooney, Hernandez

"Confirmed line-up: United vs Chelsea" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Ahead Of Our Cup Game Against Chelsea

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Both Manchester United and Chelsea have had disappointing weeks in the lead up to this game. United were robbed in the Champions League against Real Madrid, with Jose Mourinho conceding the best team lost, whilst Chelsea were outplayed and beaten by some Romanian team in the Europa League.

Fergie: Rooney Shouldn’t Have Anything To Do With The FA

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Two years ago, over an hour in to the game, Manchester United were trailing 2-0 against West Ham. It was the beginning of April and United had a title to win. Wayne Rooney was having a frustrating game and nothing was working for him... until the 65th minute. He scored a 14 minute hattrick to put United 3-2 up before Javier Hernandez scored our fourth.

Fergie: Absolute b*llocks to suggest I don’t talk to Rooney!

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Sir Alex Ferguson has again moved to dismiss stories in the paper this week that Wayne Rooney is set to leave Manchester United.

Two newspapers have been banned from Ferguson's press conferences as a result of the reports, with some bizarrely suggesting that the relationship between the manager and player had deteriorated so much that they don't even talk to each other on the training ground.

Giggs: Nani red was biggest shock I’ve ever experienced

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Ryan Giggs has reflected on the moment when he saw Nani sent off against Real Madrid on Tuesday. According to the FIFA Law 12, the consequence of dangerous play is a caution, but Nani was sent off. For a challenge to be considered serious foul play there has to be excessive force, which obviously there wasn't when Nani was simply attempting to bring the ball down.

RoM Reads

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By Far The Greatest Team has footage of our 5-3 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup in 97-98.

The Guardian looks at the current Rooney situation.

Beautifully Red has United's best moments in February in GIF form.

The Independent discusses the consequences for papers that manipulate the news.

PICTURE: Zaha Hates Leeds Scum

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During Crystal Palace's 2-2 draw with Leeds United, Wilfried Zaha stuck his middle finger up at the travelling Leeds fans.

"PICTURE: Zaha Hates Leeds Scum" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Rodgers Would Have You Believe Suarez Is The Victim Again

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Following Gareth Bale's latest booking for diving against Inter Milan this week, Brendan Rodgers has taken the opportunity to defend Luis Suarez, who has been on the receiving end of criticism for his numerous dives this season.

"I know if that had been Luis, I would have been sat there answering questions for about half an hour," he said.

“Beckham was desperate for #7 shirt after Cantona”

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Albert Morgan has reflected on the impact Eric Cantona had on the club, particularly the youngsters that were coming through the ranks, with the likes of Scholes, Beckham, Butt and the Nevilles sharing his dedication to hard work and improvement.

"He was a big influence on the other lads because he was the first one I met who'd be out practicing in the afternoon," he said.

“Cantona used to play dominos with the old men in the local”

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Manchester United's kitman, Albert Morgan, mush have more than his fair share of stories to tell about our club and players, having joined the club in 1996.

Albert has reflected on one of our greatest ever players, Eric Cantona, and can sum up the great man in one word.

"Iconic," he said.

What To Make Of The Rooney Exit Stories

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Aside from the panic that ensued when Wayne Rooney released his statement in October 2010 revealing that he wouldn't be signing a contract extension, the overriding feeling for me was embarrassment. I knew he was an Everton fan, I knew all about that ‘once a blue, always a blue' t-shirt, but when he repeatedly talked about dreaming of spending the rest of his playing days at United, I believed him.

Fergie Bans Journos Over Rooney Stories

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As expected, following the huge number of stories in the press this week linking Wayne Rooney with a move away from the club, Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted the player is staying put.

Like usual, Ferguson has banned the journalists for printing stories about Rooney, with The Independent not allowed to attend today, as well as Liverpool supporting Ian Ladyman from The Daily Mail.

VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Chelsea Fan On Benitez, Signing Van Persie and Abramovich’s Mistakes

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You would imagine that Sir Alex Ferguson will channel all the frustration from Tuesday's unjust result against Real Madrid in to Sunday's Cup game against Chelsea. Our opponents also lost in Europe this week but their players seem far more resigned to losing than ours this season. Still, in one off cup games, with both teams having a point to prove thanks to the rivalry they've enjoyed over the past few years, you never know what could happen.

Valencia: United’s Approach Different Thanks To Last Season

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Antonio Valencia has hailed the attitude of this current United team and reckons the ability to bounce back from defeat is what keeps them successful.

"I think that this attitude, concentration and mental strength are down to the manager and every day that he's there," he said. "Win or lose, you are in the next day, and you train every day and you want to win every day.

Picking Ourselves Up After Real Madrid Defeat

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When United were drawn against Real Madrid in the Last 16 of the Champions League we knew we had a battle on our hands. Whilst the Spaniards have failed to impress in La Liga there is no hiding the fact they currently have one of the best managers and squads in European football.

We may have breezed through our domestic season so far, despite not being too impressive for the first few months, but the Champions League is a totally different level, requiring more purposeful tactics and more solid performances.

RoM Reads

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By Far The Greatest Team has a fan's reactions to last night's defeat against Real Madrid.

The Guardian wonders whether Rooney will fulfil his potential.

The Independent reflect on the positives for United after last night's game.

The Mirror report on Wayne Rooney's possible exit.

Roy Keane Sadly Doesn’t Know The Rules… Shhhh

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Having spent most of his United career as Sir Alex Ferguson's right-hand man, when Keane approached the end of his career he mistakenly thought that his worth to the manager was as much as when he was at the peak of his career. Keane learnt the hard way how cut-throat football, and Ferguson to a certain extent, can be.

Van Persie’s Shirt Sales Triple After Leaving Arsenal For United

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Kitbag.com has today announced that Manchester United's Van Persie has been the most popular name printed on the back of replica football shirts, during the current 12/13 Premier League season.

The findings revealed that Van Persie accounted for 25.4% of all personalised replica football shirt sales, followed by Gerrard (8.

PICTURE: Last Night’s Ref Follows Ronaldo And Real Madrid

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The referee from last night's game, Cuneyt Cakir, follows 38 people on Twitter. The vast majority of Turkish football teams and TV stations which is fair enough. But he also follows Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid and their biased newspaper, Marca. Biased? Paid off? There's got to be some explanation for that bent decision to send off Nani last night.

Mike Phelan Was A Credit To The Club

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Following Manchester United's exit from Europe thanks to a ridiculous red card decision, it was Mike Phelan who addressed the press, not Sir Alex Ferguson.

Our #2 claimed that the manager who too "distraught" to answer questions on the game at that time. There had been rumours that Sir Alex Ferguson may have been considering retiring at the end of this season and might have seen that unjust exit as his final attempt to win the third European Cup he deserves.

Ronaldo: I’m Sad United Are Out

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored Real Madrid's winner against our ten men last night but despite putting his team in to the quarter-finals he refused to celebrate.

"It was an emotional moment," said Ronaldo. "I can say only one word: unbelievable. The supporters made me feel shy, so I think in the two games I didn't play like I play all the time, at the same level.

PICTURE: Should Diego López Have Been Sent Off Too?

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FIFA Law 12: "Reckless" means that the player has acted with complete disregard of the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent. A player who plays in a reckless manner shall be cautioned.

This seems to sum up fairly well the two incidents above. Both Diego López and Nani were trying to win the ball but both of them went in without considering the consequences for their opponent.

Confirmed line up: United vs Real Madeid

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De Gea, Rafa, Rio, Vida, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Cleverley, Nani, Welbeck, RvP.

"Confirmed line up: United vs Real Madeid" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

How Real Madrid Helped United Following Munich

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Real Madrid were incredibly generous to Manchester United in the aftermath of the Munich Air Disaster and I think the reason for that basically came down to the relationship that had formed between President Bernabeu and Sir Matt Busby. Both men were kindred spirits. Each liked to play wonderful attacking football, the difference being Busby and his assistant Jimmy Murphy tended to develop their own players, whilst Bernabeu simply scoured the planet and bought home the best talent around.

Remembering Ronaldo Ahead Of His Return

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It seems strange to think now but when I heard that Manchester United had sold Cristiano Ronaldo for £80m I was glad. He had stropped his way through that last season, but still amassed an impressive 26 goals, and was a crucial element in us winning that record equalling 18th title. Following the heights we reached in the previous season, 08-09 was fairly anti-climatic, in terms of what we achieved and the football we played.

Tactical Preview: Manchester United vs Real Madrid

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And so we go to Old Trafford for the second leg. A 1-1 draw in Madrid sets this game up nicely. United have a very slight advantage, but in truth this is the hard part. Here are a few thoughts ahead of the game.

  • The away goal doesn't really count for much. It wouldn't be decisive unless the score in the second leg is 0-0, and that seems unlikely.

Ronaldo Quotes: His Love For United

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It's hard to think of a player who has left a club but has gone on to repeatedly express their love and respect for those they have left more than Cristiano Ronaldo has since leaving Manchester United.

On the club

June 21st 2009: "It would not feel right to play for anybody else in England apart from Manchester United.

“Congratulation to our friends in Manchester. From your friends in Madrid!”

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On the way to Manchester United becoming the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968 they knocked out Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

In typical manner Real acted with class and style. Bernabeu spoke after the second leg when a dramatic 3-3 secured United's place in the Wembley final of 1968.

RoM’s CoM – February

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This is the second in a monthly column that is fast becoming my favourite to write. The first one had mixed reviews with people criticising the language and style in which it was written. Apparently it had too much swearing in it which is odd considering the title of this column is "Cunt of the Month"; I would have thought swearing was an assumption!

The First Time United Played Real Madrid…

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Manchester United were first drawn against European champions Real Madrid in the 1957 European cup semi final. In the previous round United had seen off Spanish champions and Real's great domestic rivals Athletic Bilbao. It was an epic clash, one which United clinched with a stunning 3-0 win in Manchester, after going down 5-3 in Bilbao.

VIDEO: Rooney and Kaka Talk About Managers and Old Traffrd

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bwin.com are offering a £20 free bet to you which you can use to back United to beat Madrid on Tuesday.

"VIDEO: Rooney and Kaka Talk About Managers and Old Traffrd" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

STATS: Does Michael Carrick deserve to be man of the moment?

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This season, only Patrice Evra has started more games (27) than Michael Carrick, whilst Evra and Van Persie have both had more minutes on the pitch. Carrick has made 1843 accurate passes this season with an accuracy of 88%. Of those passes, 37% of them have gone forwards and just 8% backwards. In the opposition half, he has completed 1035 passes, with an accuracy of 82%.

Evra: Ronaldo Still Loves United

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Ahead of Tuesday's big game against Real Madrid, Patrice Evra has claimed that the game will be difficult for Cristiano Ronaldo because of the feelings he has for his former club.

"It is difficult when you play with love," Evra told MUTV. "Cristiano will get a great reception on Tuesday because of what he achieved for Manchester United.

Reactions To Victory Over Norwich

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1. Ahead of kick-off against Norwich there was the promise of extending our lead to 15 points clear at the top if we won. However, with Real Madrid to play on Tuesday, you had to wonder what sort of team Sir Alex Ferguson would go with. It was great to hear what an experienced side had been picked when the team news was announced.

VIDEO: Kagawa and Rooney’s Goals vs Norwich

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"VIDEO: Kagawa and Rooney's Goals vs Norwich" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Norwich

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@LauraKane89: v Norwich: De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick Anderson, Kagawa, Rooney & RVP.

"CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Norwich" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Smalling: Rooney Gives Everything To The Team

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Chris Smalling has claimed that training sessions at Carrington provide him with everything he needs to improve as a defender, when being pitted against the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck on a daily basis.

"I get tested each day which is what I need," said Smalling.

Fergie: Rio Will Sign Before The End Of The Season

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A week before winning the Champions League in Moscow, Rio Ferdinand signed a five year contract with United. With Nemanja Vidic, he formed the best defensive partnership in Europe that season and it was great to see him commit his long term future to the club.

Ferdinand turns 35-years-old later this year and his contract is set to expire in the summer.

Smalling: United Drills Winning Mentality In To Players

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Chris Smalling has hailed Manchester United's winning mentality, claiming that having experienced players like Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand ensures that the younger players know exactly what is expected from them.

"At this club it's always drilled in to me: ‘Make sure you're a winner, go about off the pitch like you're a winner.

Fergie Puts Mancini In His Place

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Last week Roberto Mancini comically claimed that United had been lucky this season, as they had won games they didn't deserve to, whilst City had dropped points in games they deserved to win.

On RoM we addressed this comment, pointing out the difference between United and City wasn't anything to do with luck, but our winning mentality.

Smalling: De Gea At Home At United

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David de Gea was voted our player of the month in February on the official website and Chris Smalling has supported this accolade, claiming that the young Spaniard has now settled in Manchester.

"When he first joined, he didn't speak too much English so it was a hard transition but he has taken to it like anything," said Smalling.

Ahead Of Our Game Against Norwich

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Join bwin and get a free £20 bet for Man Utd vs Norwich

It's a funny ol' game, isn't it? When you're chasing a title race, you're desperate for the next game to come and are eagerly anticipating a defeat for one of your rivals. When you're leading a title race, you're desperate for the season to be over, for the games to be played, and for you to be on top when it's all done.

Smalling: Ronaldo Came In To Dressing Room For A Chat

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Chris Smalling was named in the match day squad at the Bernabeu a few weeks ago and was impressed with how fondly Cristiano Ronaldo responded to his former club and team mates.

"He came in and was chatting a lot with the players he knew," he said. "It was good to see. It shows the good relationship he still holds with the manager and club despite [it being] such a crucial game and only halfway done.

RoM Reads

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By Far The Greatest Team has in-depth player stats for United vs Norwich.

The Guardian sings the praises of Giggs ahead of his 1000th game.

The Telegraph looks at why Giggs was never going to follow Best down the road to ruin.

The Daily Mail talks to the man who got Giggs to join City as a kid.

One More Year For Giggsy

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Ahead of his likely 1000th competitive game this weekend if he plays against Norwich, Ryan Giggs has been rewarded with another one year extension on his current contract.

"I am feeling good, enjoying my football more than ever and, most importantly, I feel I am making a contribution to the team," said Giggs.

De Gea: I Love Hearing The Fans Singing My Name

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Following some excellent performances in February, David de Gea has been voted our player of the month on the official site.

"It's very good to have the support of the fans, so I'm happy to win this award," De Gea told the official site. "I can hear the supporters during the games so I know they're singing about me.