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World Soccer views and news

What are United’s quintuple chances now?

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Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson dismissed the suggestion in his usual style.

After beating Spurs on penalties to win the English League Cup final on Sunday he was asked if United could complete a “quintuple” of trophies.

“It’s a media thing,” he shot back. “I’m not getting carried away with it. We’re keeping our feet on the ground.”

But with FIFA’s Club World Cup and the League Cup already in the trophy room and with the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup all realistic targets, it is not just a media thing. It’s a real possibility. Throw in the Community Shield and it becomes a sextuple. Or a “double treble” — which sounds good if you are winning it or even drinking it.

Vlog on the Pitch talks title racing with Wenger

Join vlogmeister Owen Wyatt as he takes the plunge and asks John Arne Riise whether he’s still a better player than Andrea Dossena, the man who replaced him at Anfield.

And talking of the Premier League, Arsene Wenger thinks Liverpool’s title hopes are still alive, and that none of the top teams are playing to their full potential. Dare to disagree with Wenger? Let us know in the comments, or record your own video rant and send us a link. If we like it, we’ll embed it here.

So are we set for another all-English Champions League final?

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There’s still a long way to go to the final in Rome but from what we saw over the first legs of the opening knock-out round of the Champions League a lot of people will be expecting another all-English affair at the Olympic Stadium.

If you take Mark’s dad as an authority, and I’m sure he knows as much as anyone, serie A sides are unlikely still to be challenging but is there anyone else capable of preventing another Premier League tour match?

If Inter are the best in Serie A…

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My dad was a sports journalist too so he has seen a fair few matches in his time.

After Inter Milan’s 0-0 Champions League draw with holders Manchester United at the San Siro, he sent me a very abrupt text message.

Real Madrid v Liverpool — what a difference two months make

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Back in December, when the draw for the first knock-out round of the Champions League was made, Liverpool could be forgiven for feeling pretty pleased with the prospect of renewing their acquaintance with Real Madrid. How different things look now.

Back then, Liverpool were top of the Premier League, six points ahead of a Manchester United side facing a fixture pile-up and struggling for form. Real Madrid, in apparent disarray after sacking coach Bernd Schuster, were 12 points behind Barcelona, having just lost 2-0 to their arch-rivals.

And then there was one… the Special One

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Sir Alex Ferguson wrote off Chelsea’s title hopes in the middle of last week and what the Scot was charitably calling a two-horse race was down to one on Sunday, as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City.

Strange things happen in football — look to the Spanish League, where Real Madrid suddenly look like giving Barcelona a run for their money – but surely nothing will stop Manchester United now.

Friday afternoon question: Should Giggs win PFA player of the year?

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Ryan Giggs has probably never received the recognition he deserves for his contribution to Manchester United’s success over the last 15 years.

No other player has collected the full set of medals for all the silverware which has filled the Old Trafford trophy cabinet over that time. Yet several, including Eric Cantona, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo, have received the major individual awards which have eluded the man who has played more games for United than anyone else.

Stat anoraks in a frenzy over Van der Sar

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The anoraks have had to dig deeper and deeper into their stat books to deny Manchester United’s Edwin van der Sar another goalkeeping record.

His side’s 3-0 win over a toothless Fulham at Old Trafford on Wednesday took the 38-year-old Dutchman’s unbeaten league run to 14 successive games and an astonishing 1,302 minutes.

Is Ferguson being generous saying it’s a two horse race?

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Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has dismissed Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes, but given his side’s run of form he is perhaps being generous to Liverpool by saying they still have a chance.

“The title race now is going to be between ourselves and Liverpool,” Ferguson wrote in the programme for the 3-0 home win over Fulham that sent the champions five points clear of Liverpool and 10 ahead of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Premier League drama is better off the field

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The Premier League table has made pretty interesting reading this season, what with Aston Villa and Chelsea threatening the end of the Big Four era and Tottenham stuck far too low down the standings for the comfort of their fans.

Sadly, the football itself is not providing the same level of drama.

A quick glance at the 2008/09 Player of the Year candidates shows the theme of this season rather nicely: defence.

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