Ruthless United through to Champions League final

May 5, 2009

A couple of early thoughts on Manchester United’s ruthless demonstration of superiority against Arsenal tonight (click here for the full match report).

1. United are over that little blip they had against Liverpool and Fulham and look to be timing their run-in to perfection. They have no significant injuries, Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be getting his mojo back and, as they showed once again against Arsenal, they ooze class right the way through the team.

2. Alex Ferguson said after the game he thought Chelsea might just edge the second semi-final, with Barcelona;s centre-back problem costing them dear, but I suspect most neutrals will be hoping for the opposite result. United and Barcelona have seemed to be on a collision all season and this edition of the Champions League could give us that rarest of things: a final between the two best teams in Europe.

3. Darren Fletcher is an unfortunate man.

4. I suspect Arsenal fans getting impatient with Arsene Wenger is going to be a theme the media comes back to time and again over the next few days and weeks. We’ll hear how Wenger needs to spend more freely to compete with United and the rest. Is that right?

More on this tomorrow, but for now, one simple question: Are United about to the become the first team to successfully defend the European Cup in the Champions League era?

PHOTO: Darren Fletcher is shown the red card by referee Roberto Rosetti as Emmanuel Adebayor looks on during the Champions League semi-final at the Emirates stadium in London May 5, 2009. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

8 comments

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And will it be the first final between the same two sides in successive years? I can see Barca getting a scoring draw though.
Poor Kieran Gibbs. Fletcher might get the red overturned, I reckon. Platini is a kind fellow

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Re: Arsenal fans’ impatience with Wenger.

You’re probably right. One thing that the Arshavin transfer has shown is that the addition of a veteran player or two will not stunt the development of Arsenal’s youth, but rather allow it to compete today. Wenger seems obsessed with rebuilding the Invincibles with youth, which he shouldn’t be criticized for, but how many seasons can be thrown away waiting for one of the young gunners to develop into the next Henry or Viera?

One thing he can certainly be faulted for is the continuing failure to address the back line deficiencies. Yes, they were better with Gallas, but since he and Clichy went down, it’s become a circus back there that has cost them an FA Cup chance and now the Champions League.

Posted by Callahan | Report as abusive

hope its barca.
it won’t seem a proper euro champs league game vs chelski
now we can turn our efforts to the EPL

Posted by lucius newton | Report as abusive

Manchester United certainly dominated Arsenal throughout both legs, and it’ll be interesting to see if (how?) Andrei Arshavin will be able to make a difference for Arsenal in the upcoming league game. Arsenal has nothing to fight for, though, being secure in 4th place.

Posted by Walter Mitty | Report as abusive

that was men against boys, wasn’t it? united are just too good on the counter-attack to gift them two goals like that. arsenal were lucky it wasn’t 7 or 8.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

that’s about right … and wenger said afterwards it was the worst night of his career as arsenal manager. anything that could go wrong did…

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Who will Man U face? The people at bettingexpert think its Chelsea – and they are right more often than not.

Source: http://www.bettingexpert.com/league_prev iew.php?id=239

Posted by Thomas | Report as abusive

Ruthless United or Toothless Arsenal?? Time to cogitate.