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Sunday, 18 September 2011 20:10

Nani inspires United to beat Chelsea

Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea

Andre Villas Boas suffered his first defeat as Chelsea manager as the Blues were beaten by champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. Nani scored an outstanding individual goal and was named Man of the Match, as the Red Devils maintained their 100% start to the Premiership season.

United manager Alex Ferguson made a host of changes following the midweek draw against Benfica, with Nani among those restored to the United starting line-up. Meanwhile, Villas Boas re-introduced John Terry and Frank Lampard to his team, which included Portugal internationals Jose Bosingwa and Raul Meireles.

Despite what was an evenly contested first half, United found themselves three goals up at the break. Chris Smalling headed the hosts in front in the 8th minute, before Nani scored with a fantastic long-range shot (37’) and Wayne Rooney took advantage of a loose ball in the penalty area to slot home on the stroke of half time.

Chelsea had created several good chances during the first period, with ex-Benfica midfielder Ramires wasting the best opportunity after being set up by Fernando Torres. Villas Boas made a change at the break, bringing on Nicolas Anelka in place of Frank Lampard, and the switch drew an instant response as the Frenchman set up Torres to pull a goal back within seconds of the re-start.

There would be no more goals however, although United could have made the game safe when Nani, having struck the woodwork with a fierce drive, drew a foul from compatriot Bosingwa inside the area and won his team a penalty. The ex-Porto defender protested strongly that he had won the ball, but it mattered little as Rooney slipped when taking his kick and fired wide.

After the match, Villas Boas admitted that his side lacked a little fortune on the day, with both of United’s first two goals possibly coming after an offside flag should have been raised, and Torres missing an open goal in the second half that would have brought the Blues back into the game.

“"It was a strange game, very, very open and a lot of opportunities for both teams." he told Sky Sports. “If luck could play a better part for our side today, maybe. We had some very good chances to even the score or even to score first.

"It was competitive. The scoreline doesn't show the difference between the teams. I think the teams are even. It's only the beginning of the Premiership. We have to continue to believe in what we do and get points.

"I cannot say what happened with the refereeing decisions. It doesn't matter now because it's happened. If they were offside, it's the referee's mistake and it's unfortunate for him. These things happen in the game and you have to respond."

"Torres? Today you have an example of Rooney missing a penalty, which is the same thing. The worst things can happen to the best strikers in the world and today it happened to both of them. We had a good comeback in the second half and I'm pleased with that, the rest doesn't matter to me."

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Comments (8)
Magician Nani
8 Monday, 26 September 2011 10:21
Nani is alwayz absolutely fantastic & wonderful. infact he alwayz trouble defenders & left them having 9tmares. sooner than later, he wil b crown as World best player. time shal tell
Re: jon's "my thoughts"
7 Monday, 19 September 2011 21:34
You're absolutely right about Meireles. Even back in WC 2010, he was never the most defensive midfielder. If there's one thing from the Queiroz days I liked, it was the Alves-Pepe-Carvalho triangle in front of the goal, Pepe being a defensive midfielder. Seeing as Pepe's needed in defense now that Carva's gone, I'm thinking maybe we can culture Miguel Veloso into filling that def. midfield role...?
All I got say is..
6 Monday, 19 September 2011 15:37
Very happy for Nani
5 Monday, 19 September 2011 01:00
Congratulations to Nani what a gun, i cant believe Torres actually scored a goal, he is an absolute joke. Anelka is much better than him and Drogba.
my thoughts
4 Sunday, 18 September 2011 21:58
It was a fantastic game with so many exciting moments. Nani was unplayable throughout, and while he may not be Ronaldo or Messi, he is still a world class winger. He terrorized "the best left-back in the world" all day long. Ashley Cole is a very good player, but he is extremely over-rated.

Raul Meireles was played as the holding midfielder in a
4-1-2-3 formation, like he does with Portugal, but he offered very little protection to Chelsea's defense. While Raul works extremely hard, and he isn't terrible at tackling, he doesn't have the strength and tackling ability required to be a defensive midfielder.

When playing for Portugal in this role, he acts more like a deep-lying playmaker than a true defensive midfielder. And, since the seleccao rarely plays top teams, Meireles' defensive abilities are rarely tested. When Portugal played Spain, Meireles played well, becuase Moutinho dropped deep and pressed the hell out of Xavi and Iniesta.

When playing quality opposition, Meireles should be used farther up the field as a box-to-box midfielder. He has excellent stamina, he's a very good passer of the ball, and his runs from deep and great shot are a huge weapon. He isn't a defensive midfielder.

Andre Santos can also play there, but like Meireles, he isn't a true defensive midfielder. He is a fantastic passer, but only a decent tackler. Against quality opposition the only players Bento has for that role is Pepe and maybe Danilo, if he gets more playing time.
Nani performancy
3 Sunday, 18 September 2011 21:24
Nani really merited man of d match 2day. I like your performance 2day, u makes we United fans 2 be excited. I love u.
2 Sunday, 18 September 2011 21:13
Totally agree with Stina... Nani might be better then CR7 and Messi, time will tell.....
1 Sunday, 18 September 2011 20:25
Nani was simply toying with Chelsea today, he was taking the Michael out of everybody. Ashley Cole will be having nightmares about him for weeks to come.

Fernando Torres, miss of the decade.

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