Saturday, May 21, 2005

I've been mugged :-(

Or more specifically my team, Man United have been. Manchester dominated the whole of the FA Cup final but were beaten by a lackluster Arsenal after a penalty shoot out. Despite Arsenal's dismal display during normal play, I don't blame them for beating us in what amounts to a lottery. They don't make the rules. But their fans must consider themselves very fortunate.

As for the United team, there was one very obvious fault. Despite making all the play and taking the game to Arsenal, they failed to score. And that is why it came down to penalties in the end. Having said that, they can hold their heads high. Ferguson's tactics were clearly better than Wengers. The pincer movement of Rooney and Ronaldo on the wings resulted in a steady stream of chances. Arsenal were obviously missing Henry but they barely got a shot on target which was astounding for such a quality side. Leyman was forced to make several crutial saves and we had a shot hit the post and a goal disallowed (validly, it was off side).

Basically United played them off the park. John, one of my Gooner mates texted "Is there only one team in the final or did Arsenal turn up as well" with about 10 minutes of normal time remaining. I really would have preferred it if Arsenal had scored to win rather than it come down to penalties, partly because if they had scored the striker would be the hero, but as it is Paul Scoles will have to live with the responsibility of losing the game for United. And that just isn't fair.

All I can say positively about the Arsenal performance is that after much criticism this season Jens Leyman had a huge game, kept them in it and then saved the penalty to allow them to nick it at the end. So a begrudging congratulation to Arsenal. I'm gutted.


Tony C said...

As neither a Arsenal or Man Utd fan it was not a result that reflected the game. I don't buy the 'Ronaldo excuse' from Daz, sorry fella Arsenal were outplayed for most of the game.

An undeserved victory then but I do buy the 'sour grapes' Ferguson quip. When will the man learn he just looks like the bad loser he always is, but I suppose he had to put on a good show for the new boss.

Mr Ports said...

Oh come on! Ronaldo was getting past Lauren for the whole of the game. He beat him virtually every time. Later on Lauren got frustrated and lazy and started taking Ronaldo out. The Ref even warned him about it. But he continued and so got a yellow card.

And you're right - Rooney did express his displeasure to the ref after he was adjudged to have made a foul that the replay shows he didn't.

Tony C said...

Maybe Sir Alex and Daz aren't so different after all... :o)

Mr Ports said...

OK - in this spirit of openness I agree that sometimes Sir Alex should shut up. Like many other Man Utd supporters, I would prefer dignified silence rather than ill considered criticisms on the spur of the moment. The man is a legend and his successes on the field are beyond argument over the years. And yet he doesn't get the recognition he deserves because he undermines himself with these snidey disingenuous comments.