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Chelsea v Manchester United FA Cup live

FA CUP LIVE: Chelsea v Manchester United – the quarter-final replay as it happens from Stamford Bridge

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One last push: Sir Alex Ferguson urges his side to press after Demba Ba's goal put Chelsea on course to Wembley

68min: It should be 2-0. That was a big, big miss from Hazard. He pounces on a sloppy Michael Carrick pass and drives towards goal. He drags a shot wide of De Gea's post from just inside the area. He has got to hit the target there and should really have beaten De Gea from that range.

65min: Ryan Giggs has replaced Nani now. The Portugal winger was pretty shoddy today. He offered so little and I'd love to see his pass completion stats. Ferguson won't be happy with his man, that's for sure.

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64min: Neil Ashton is glad to see Tom Cleverley subbed for Van Persie.

He adds from Stamford Bridge: 'Cleverley is sacrificed for RVP. Still not sure what Cleverley is supposed to do, yet to see him have a decent game for United or England.

'The latest chants around the ground are “Rio Ferdinand, **** off to Qatar”'

Wonder save: Petr Cech somehow kept Javier Hernandez's header out after Ba's opener

Wonder save: Petr Cech somehow kept Javier Hernandez's header out after Ba's opener

63min: Matt Barlow reports: 'United have reacted to the goal by loosening their formation. The full backs going forward with more adventure and it has created more space for Mata, Oscar and Hazard.'

61: What a save! Javier Hernandez heads from close range at Cech's goal. Somehow the goalkeeper, at full stretch, tips the ball over the bar. One of the saves of the season. Utterly sensational.

Van Persie replaces Cleverley.

Get in: Demba Ba hooks the ball into the net as Rio Ferdinand (left) chases

Get in: Demba Ba hooks the ball into the net as Rio Ferdinand (left) chases

59min: Ryan Bertrand receives Phil Dowd's second yellow card. Cynical from the left back there, as he chops down Javier Hernandez to prevent a break.

Robin van Persie has stripped off and is ready to try to turn this one round for United.

57min: Graham Poll has his view on the Chelsea goal: 'At last some action. Excellent work from assistant Andy Garratt on non-offside for Demba Ba’s goal.

'Absolutely indisputable yellow card for Cleverley for heavy challenge on Ramires.'

56min: The goal has lifted both sides and we can expect a more exciting match from here on in.

United look like they want this one and have upped the ante.

54min: Sami Mokbel believes Ferdinand was culpable for Ba's strike.

He adds: 'Rio won’t be happy with his contribution to Demba Ba’s opener. Got caught napping for a split second and got punished. Great finish, though.'

Neil Ashton also points out that Ferdinand has never won an FA Cup, and may never get the chance should United lose today.

Meanwhile, Tom Cleverley goes into the book for a hefty tackle on Ramires.

52min: The Chelsea fans are in full voice now.

Game on: Demba Ba (left) celebrates after opening the scoring for Chelsea

Game on: Demba Ba (left) celebrates after opening the scoring for Chelsea

Neil Ashton reports they are chanting '”Rio Rio what's the score” coming from the Matthew Harding Stand.

49min: GOAL! CHELSEA 1 Man United 0

What a strike! Juan Mata lifts the ball over the United defence and Demba Ba is onto it. It looks like it's out of his reach but the striker wraps his foot around it and hooks it into the top corner. Wonderful finish.

Sportsmail's Neil Ashton describes it as a 'really special strike'. I can't disagree with that assessment. It's a sublime finish.

48min: Excellent improvisation from Demba Ba there. Ryan Bertrand puts in a speculative ball to the striker who raises a leg to flick the ball goalwards. David de Gea is wise to it and gathers well.

There's still a fizz lacking from this match at the moment. It needs a pick-me-up before this half gets going.

46min: No changes at half-time. United press early on and Phil Jones wins a free-kick on the edge of the area.

But Nani puts the ball into the Chelsea wall.

13.32: KICK-OFF: MANCHESTER UNITED RE-START THE MATCH

13.29: Chelsea have had the better of this one. Just. United never made it out of the blocks and Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez are the only two players who look like causing Chelsea any problems.

Nani has been particularly off colour. A couple of substitutions would liven this tie up.

Meanwhile, the players are back on the pitch and ready for the second half.

13.24: Surprisingly, there haven't been too many talking points so far. These two teams normally serve up thrillers when they meet but it's been anything but that in the first half. Perhaps Robin van Persie was right when he said the players would be too tired for this one.

13.18: Here's Matt Barlow's views on the first half.

'“Handbrakes on” as Arsene Wenger would say in the first half.

'Chelsea have enjoyed the territorial edge but United will not be unduly worried about that. The visitors have looked in control, Smalling and Ferdinand have been strong, and the visitors have threatened on the break.'

On your back: Oscar tries to take the ball from United full back Patrice Evra (front)

On your back: Oscar tries to take the ball from United full back Patrice Evra (front)

13.17: HALF-TIME: CHELSEA 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 0

44min: United have a pretty tenuous penalty claim as Nani goes down unde the challenge of Ryan Bertrand. Graham Poll is having none of it.

He says: 'Nani diving for a penalty and what would have been a red card for Ryan Bertrand – can’t keep him out of the headlines.'

Rivals: John Terry (right0 warms up on the bench as Rio Ferdinand walks across the pitch

Rivals: John Terry (right0 warms up on the bench as Rio Ferdinand walks across the pitch

43min: Sportsmail's Sami Mokbel is at the match too.

He's reporting that both sets of fans have behaved pretty well so far in this one. Good to see but it's a shame the game hasn't really got going yet.

Enjoying it Frank Lampard (right) and John Terry watch from the Chelsea bench during the first half

Enjoying it Frank Lampard (right) and John Terry watch from the Chelsea bench during the first half

41min: Petr Cech gets away with some suspect goalkeeping there. Javier Hernandez pulls the trigger from range and the Czech international dives to the left but ends up saving the shot with his right foot. It almost crept in.

39min: Eden Hazard looks in the mood. He pounces onto a loose ball in the United box and smashes the ball towards goal. But he's put too much on it and it whistles past the post.

38min: Graham Poll is also disappointed with Nani's behaviour.

He says: 'Why kick the ball out There was nothing wrong with Nani and he stayed down to try and prove he’d been hit.

'Hoping for a repeat of the Champions League game; a red card for Nani should help both teams and the game.'

35min: Nani is lying on the floor after a knock from John Obi Mikel. Chelsea put the ball out but Nani is straight up.

Replays show that it was barely even a tap from Mikel and an accidental one at that. Pretty poor conduct from Nani really.

35min: Matt Barlow has spotted John Terry warming up on the touchline.

'JT out to warm up and getting relentless stick from United fans.'

33min: Ramires creates an opening for Ba this time. The Brazil international slides the ball into Ba who should hit the target. Instead, he pulls his shot into the legs of Chris Smalling.

Chelsea have injected a little more urgency into their attacks now as United look stuck in second gear.

Hitting the deck: Ramires (left) and Chris Smalling of Manchester United (right) both go to ground

Hitting the deck: Ramires (left) and Chris Smalling of Manchester United (right) both go to ground

31min: Eden Hazard creates Chelsea's first scoring opportunity. The diminutive playmake wrong-foots Chris Smalling and slips the ball into Demba Ba.

The Senegalese striker fires low and hard but David de Gea sticks a leg out to save well. Excellent work from Hazard.

28min: Javier Hernandez gets his first sight of goal but fails to shoot. The Mexican twists and turns away from David Luiz in the area but looks reluctant to shoot with his left foot.

The striker slips as he tries to work it back onto his right and Chelsea can bundle the ball away.

27min: Ashley Cole injury update from Matt Barlow.

'Cole disappears down the tunnel with a brief shake of his head. Is his injury another episode in the story of intricate pre-planned training programmes

'Cole has been handled carefully by club and country. He travelled with England, didn’t play against San Marino, played against Montenegro, rested against Southampton on Saturday and yet lasted only 20 minutes on a cold day with an early kick-off.'

26min: United have finally lurched into gear. Tom Cleverley is found in acres of space on the left and curls a ball into the area. Ivanovic spots it and boots it away. Much better from the visitors.

Best of enemies: Rafa Benitez and Sir Alex Ferguson (left) shook hands this time

Best of enemies: Rafa Benitez and Sir Alex Ferguson (left) shook hands this time

24min: Former Premier League referee Graham Poll is watching Phil Dowd's performance closely today… and the misfiring Nani.

'If Phil Dowd was performing like any number of players, in particular Nani, there would be an outrage!

'Why is it players can play like this and refs can’t put a foot wrong'

A good point well made. Nani is having a stinker so far. I'm not sure if he's found a pass yet.

21min: United waste a pretty good chance there. Ashley Cole pulls up lame when chasing Danny Welbeck, who finds Nani on the edge.

But the Portugal winger attempts an atrocious pass which is quickly cut out. Shocking.

Cole will be unable to continue, and Ryan Bertrand takes his place. Looks like a hamstring injury.

19min: You can see why Ferguson has deployed Phil Jones in the deep midfield role. He was exceptional there in the Champions League first leg against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. The problem for United is that Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar drift in and out of the wide areas.

15min: Chris Smalling just put his body on the line! Eden Hazard is teed up by Demba Ba for the shot. The Belgian pulls the trigger and it hits the sliding Smalling straight in his private parts. Cue huge cheers from the Chelsea crowd, but it did the job.

In action: Danny Welbeck (left) tries to hold of the challenge from Chelsea midfielder Oscar

In action: Danny Welbeck (left) tries to hold of the challenge from Chelsea midfielder Oscar

14min: Nani hasn't really done much thus far. Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has noticed too.

He tweeted: 'Can somebody wake up Nani….!'

13min: United almost showed their prowess in attack. Welbeck burst forward on the left and almost leaves Branislav Ivanovic in his wake. But the Serbian gathers himself and marshals the England international expertly, winning the ball back for the Blues.

9min: Chelsea are having the lion's share of possession so far. United seem happy enough to sit back and settle into this one before pouncing.

We all know how quickly they can break with Welbeck and Hernandez in attack though…

7min: Matt Barlow is keeping a close eye on the fans of each club.

He reports: 'Fans trade a few chants. “Where’s your racist centre half” from United fans. John Terry songs from Chelsea end. Boos for Rio on the ball. '

5min: Chelsea have a trio of players behind Demba Ba that have buckets of flair.

Shake on it: Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole get the formalities over and done with

Shake on it: Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole get the formalities over and done with

Oscar, Mata and Hazard are a handful for any team. Oscar just turns Patrice Evra with aplomb in the United box, but Chris Smalling reads his cross to clear well.

4min: Rio Ferdinand gets his first touch of the ball at the back. A chorus of boos from the Chelsea fans.

2min: It appears Phil Jones will be playing in his adoptive role anchoring in midfield. A potential week spot for United is that Antonio Valencia will deputise at right back in Rafael's absence.

KICK-OFF: CHELSEA GET THE GAME UNDER WAY

Warming up: Manchester United's substitutes gear up for the clash

Warming up: Manchester United's substitutes gear up for the clash

12.28: Matt Barlow's take as the teams are making their way out onto the pitch.

'Teams come out and United fans sing: “Rio, Rio, Rio”.'

And yes, Benitez and Ferguson DID shake hands before kick-off.

12.22: Last time these two sides met, Sir Alex Ferguson walked straight past Rafa Benitez before the match and neglected to shake hands with the Chelsea boss. Rafa says he'll shake on it this time. Let's wait and see.

Ferguson had this to say to ITV on Rooney's injury: 'He got a groin injury playing for England and he wasn't 100 per cent yesterday. There’s no point risking a player with a groin injury.

'Hopefully he'll be ready for next Monday's game.'

12.20: Sportsmail's Matt Barlow is also at the match.

'Sleepy feel inside Stamford Bridge. None of the High Noon electricity you might have expected.

'Kerry Dixon has just presented Frank Lampard with an award for becoming the second Chelsea player to 200 goals for the club. Sure it will warm up.'

12.18: I'm going to have to disagree with Robin van Persie's prediction for this game. The Dutchman believes the players will be too drained from the weekend's schedule to put on a show to remember.

He bemoaned the fixture pile-up ahead of the replay and said: 'These games are just too close to each other.

'People have to realise they can’t expect a great game of football because it is not possible.

'Normally on the second day your muscles are quite bad, but now we have to play at this certain time.

'It is a shame but we can’t do anything about it because there are Champions League games in midweek and Chelsea are still in the Europa League.'

12.14: Further confirmation of Rooney's injury from Neil Ashton at the stadium.

'Rooney is out with a groin injury picked up on England duty.

'United hope he will be back for Monday's game with City, or Sunday's semi-final at Wembley if they make it there.'

12.07: The crowd reaction to Ferdinand will be under the spotlight this afternoon.

Rio's brother Anton was the player Chelsea's John Terry racially abused during last season's game against QPR. Which resulted in a four-game ban for the centre half, who rigorously denied any wrongdoing and was cleared of criminal charges for the on-pitch incident.

12.06: Sportsmail's Neil Ashton is at Stamford Bridge for this one, and he's got some news from the stadium.

He says: 'Teams read out, lot of boos for Rio Ferdinand from Chelsea fans. Still 20 minutes until kick off.'

12.01: Phil Jones will deputise at right back this afternoon for United, after Rafael limped off after just half and hour against Sunderland on Saturday.

Nemanja Vidic is also out of Ferguson's side. He looked in some discomfort at the beginning of the Sunderland game when he was clutching his back. That said, Ferguson has opted for a pretty hefty overhaul of his squad.

12.00: Both of these teams will be looking to improve on their weekend performances. Although United beat a poor Sunderland side, they looked lethargic at times and only won by the most narrow margin.

Chelsea on the other hand were beaten at St Mary's by Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton side.

11.55: Rooney update: Sir Alex Ferguson has told ITV that the striker has picked up a groin injury while on international duty with England.

That would explain why he is out of today's clash, and why he wasn't in the squad for United's victory against Sunderland.

Now the good news for United fans Rooney should be okay to play against Manchester City in next week's derby.

11.52: Gary Cahill is still out with a knee injury for Chelsea, but John Terry will start on the bench today instead of Brazilian defender David Luiz.

11.50: Although there will be no Wayne Rooney this afternoon, this Chelsea back four won't be resting on their laurels.

Javier Hernandez has scored a remarkable six goals in his previous seven appearances against Chelsea.

11.44: Undoubtedly the biggest shock of the line-ups is that Wayne Rooney has not made Sir Alex Ferguson's squad. We're not sure whether he's injured or whether Sir Alex has decided to drop him for a big game like he did against Real Madrid. But watch this space for updates.

Six changes by Chelsea and seven by Manchester United from the Premier League fixtures this weekend.

11.43: Manchester United team: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Nani; Hernandez, Welbeck

Subs: Giggs, Lindegaard, Young, van Persie, Powell, Kagawa, Vermijl

11.36: Chelsea starting XI: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Ramires, Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Ba

Subs: Turnbull, Terry, Benayoun, Bertrand, Moses, Lampard, Torres

11.34: The winners will book their place in the semi-finals, where Manchester City wait after beating Barnsley at the Etihad. United are hoping to keep their hopes of a League/Cup double alive, whereas interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez is desperate to deliver a trophy to Blues owner Roman Abramovich. The FA Cup and Europa League are the only two competitions Chelsea can hope to prevail in.

11.30: Good morning, good morning. Is there a better way to spend your Bank Holiday Monday than following coverage of two Premier League giants going head to head in the FA Cup quarter-final

Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney's goals were cancelled out in the corresponding fixture at Old Trafford by second-half goals from Ramires and Eden Hazard, who forced this afternoon's replay.

And Sir Alex Ferguson believes Chelsea even deserved to win the game, claiming his side were tired and emotional after their Champions League defeat by Real Madrid.

Ferguson said: '‘I thought we were lucky to be honest with you (in the first leg),’ Ferguson told United’s official website, manutd.com.

In transit: Robin van Persie and his team-mates travelled by train yesterday from Manchester Piccadilly

In transit: Robin van Persie and his team-mates travelled by train yesterday from Manchester Piccadilly

‘I thought that tiredness had got into the team and, from a comfortable position for the first 20 minutes, you could see the signs when we started to give the ball away just before half-time. That is a definite sign of tiredness.

‘The tiredness came, possibly, from the emotional intensity of the Real Madrid game and also the way we lost it. I think that affected two or three players. In the second half in particular there was no doubt that Tom Cleverley’s and our two full-backs’ [Rafael and Patrice Evra] legs had gone.

'That was [due to] emotions. The way full-backs are, they put so much energy into getting forward but they found it difficult getting back.'

Destination Wembley: Chelsea came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in the original tie at Manchester United

Destination Wembley: Chelsea came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in the original tie at Manchester United

Anderson set to leave Manchester United in summer

Anderson set for Man United exit while others could follow in Old Trafford clear-out

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

07:19 GMT, 17 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:20 GMT, 17 March 2013

Anderson is set to leave Manchester United in the summer after failing to hold down a place in Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

The 24-year-old Brazilian has failed to fulfill on the potential that United saw in him when they prised him from Porto with a 17million bid in the summer of 2007.

Bar the odd brilliant match, Anderson has not looked like reaching the level expected of a United midfielder and is behind Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs in Fergie's plans.

Farewell Anderson (left) could leave Man United in the summer after failing to earn a regular starting position

Farewell Anderson (left) could leave Man United in the summer after failing to earn a regular starting position

He has made just 12 Barclays Premier League appearances this season and scored just one goal in the competition.

His other strike this season came against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup.

Anderson is likely to head back to Portgual in the summer, according to The Mirror.

Javier Hernandez

Nani

In the balance: Javier Hernandez (left) and Nani (right) could also leave Old Trafford in the summer

Other players who could leave Old Trafford in the summer are Paul Scholes, who may retire again, and Javier Hernandez who wants to start more games.

Alexander Buttner and Anders Lindegaard will also be evaluated come the end of the season, while Nani could also be sold, with his contract set to expire in 2014.

England begin training for Wembley friendly with Brazil

England stars get down to business in training as they prepare to face the boys from Brazil

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

11:16 GMT, 4 February 2013

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UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 4 February 2013

England have begun preparations for Wednesday's illustrious friendly at Wembley with Brazil.

The bad news for manager Roy Hodgson, however, is that only 11 outfield players were available to fully train today.

The withdrawals of the injured Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick and the absence of the unfit Daniel Sturridge had significantly contributed to
the depleted numbers available to Hodgson to train, with others involved yesterday in the
Premier League instead limited to a warm-down session.

Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today

Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today

Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper

Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper

Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training

Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training

Joe Hart and Jack Butland remain the only
senior goalkeepers in Roy Hodgson's full squad but with Hart among
those only warming down, Middlesbrough's inexperienced Jason Steele has been added to
the training squad to aid preparations for Wednesday's fixture.

Hodgson is expected to announce further
squad changes today, incidentally, in response to the withdrawals of Carrick and Defoe and because of Sturridge's inability to train.

The forward has discussed his
fitness with the England manager and, though reluctant to do so, is expected to
accept that he will be unable to play any part against Brazil
and could therefore leave the England camp.

Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson

Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson

All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s

All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s

All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson

All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson

Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level

Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level

Ashley Cole, however, was among the 11 available to Hodgson today, meaning he remains on course to follow Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Steven Gerrard and become the seventh England player to reach 100 caps.

His presence is a real positive for England given the intimidating prospect of facing both Ronaldinho and Neymar, but even for all of the latter's reputation as one of the world's greatest talents, another of Hodgson's defenders, Phil Jagielka, has revealed his international team-mates are yet to truly know what it is they can expect from him.

'I don't know a lot about Neymar,' Jagielka said. 'We don't see a lot of footage. He plays in Brazil so it is tough for us.

Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly

Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly

Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion

Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion

Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield

Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield

'But we have video analysis people when we meet up with England and they will have plenty of footage for us to review.

'They will pick out his good points and bad ones. I am sure the good points will be going on for hours.'

Manchester United 4 Fulham 1 – match report: Javier Hernandez scores twice

Man United 4 Fulham 1: Merciless Reds put on dazzling display to send Cottagers out

PUBLISHED:

19:22 GMT, 26 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 26 January 2013

Manchester United marched into the fifth round of the FA Cup after battering Fulham at Old Trafford.

Ryan Giggs scored from the spot after an Aaron Hughes handball early in the game before Wayne Rooney and two goals from Javier Hernandez put the tie beyond doubt.

Hughes clawed back a consolation for the Cottagers, but the result never looked in doubt.

Cruising: Javier Hernandez (right) is congratulated by Wayne Rooney (left) after scoring Manchester United's fourth

Cruising: Javier Hernandez (right) is congratulated by Wayne Rooney (left) after scoring Manchester United's fourth

Game over: Hernandez scored Manchester United's third to put the result beyond doubt

Game over: Hernandez scored Manchester United's third to put the result beyond doubt

Doubled: Rooney scored Manchester United's second of the evening after half-time

Doubled: Rooney scored Manchester United's second of the evening after half-time

On the spot: Ryan Giggs opened the scoring for United from the spot

On the spot: Ryan Giggs opened the scoring for United from the spot

MATCH FACTS

Man United: De Gea, Rafael, Evra, Jones, Smalling, Anderson (Kagawa 71), Giggs (Valencia 71), Carrick (Scholes 61), Nani, Rooney, Hernandez

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Welbeck, Van Persie

Goals: Giggs 3, Rooney 50, Hernandez 53, 66

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riise, Hangeland, Baird (Karagounis 46), Hughes, Riether, Sidwell, Duff (Rodallega 61), Kacaniklic, Berbatov, Ruiz (Dejagah 70)

Subs not used: Etheridge, Senderos, Briggs, Petric

Goal: Hughes 77

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

More to follow…

Incriminating: Aaron Hughes gave away the penalty after handling the ball in the box

Incriminating: Aaron Hughes gave away the penalty after handling the ball in the box

Battle: Alex Kacaniklic (right) and Rafael compete for possession

Battle: Alex Kacaniklic (right) and Rafael compete for possession

Close: Rooney looks to the skies after seeing the ball go wide

Close: Rooney looks to the skies after seeing the ball go wide

.

Welcome back: Dimitar Berbatov (left) and Chris Smalling (right) battle for possession

Welcome back: Dimitar Berbatov (left) and Chris Smalling (right) battle for possession

.

Powerless: Martin Jol watched his Fulham side succumb to a routine defeat

Powerless: Martin Jol watched his Fulham side succumb to a routine defeat

.

On the sidelines: Robin van Persie

On the sidelines:A fan shows her support for United

On the sidelines: Robin van Persie as a fan watches United with a green and gold scarf

Tottenham 1 Manchester United 1 match report

Tottenham 1 Manchester United 1: Dempsey dramatic injury-time equaliser cuts Red Devils' lead over City to five points

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 20 January 2013

Clint Dempsey scored a dramatic equaliser deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Tottenham at a snowy White Hart Lane.

Robin van Persie clinically headed home in the 25th minute and that looked like the winner all the way until the 92nd minute when American Dempsey converted Aaron Lennon's cross to snatch a point for Spurs.

More to follow

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Match facts

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton (Assou-Ekotto 64), Lennon, Parker (Huddlestone 80), Dembele, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe.

Subs Not Used: Friedel, Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Townsend.

Booked: Dawson.

Goals: Dempsey 90.

Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Carrick, Cleverley (Valencia 74), Kagawa (Rooney 62), Welbeck, Van Persie.

Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez.

Booked: Carrick, Evra, Rafael, Rooney.

Goals: Van Persie 25.

Att: 35,956

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Leap: Gareth Bale jumps for the ball in the north London snow

Leap: Gareth Bale jumps for the ball in the north London snow

Over the edge: Bale falls into the crowd

Over the edge: Bale falls into the crowd

Challenge: Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson tackle Van Persie

Challenge: Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson tackle Van Persie

Spurned: Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity in the second half

Spurned: Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity in the second half

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United looks on

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United adjusts his hat

Wrap up warm: Alex Ferguson looked uncomfortably cold at White Hart Lane

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Hard work: Groundsmen clear snow from the playing surface at White Hart Lane

Hard work: Groundsmen clear snow from the playing surface at White Hart Lane

Cold Two fans shelter from the snow ahead of the match

Cold Two fans shelter from the snow ahead of the match

Manchester United 2 West Brom 0 – match report

Manchester United 2 West Brom 0: RVP climbs off bench to add gloss to narrow win

|

UPDATED:

17:27 GMT, 29 December 2012

Robin van Persie's 17th goal of the season ensured Manchester United claimed yet another scalp on their march towards what they hope will be a 20th league title at Old Trafford.

Yet the performance of skipper Nemanja Vidic was equally notable, as he guided United to only their fourth Premier League clean sheet of the season after Gareth McAuley's early own goal had put the hosts in front against West Brom.

Plagued by injury for the past 16 months, and restored to the United line-up for the only the second time since his most recent knee operation, Serbian Vidic used all of his experience to ensure the hosts were not made to pay for a lacklustre second-half display.

Game over: Robin van Persie celebrates scoring his team's second goal

Game over: Robin van Persie celebrates scoring his team's second goal

MATCH FACTS

Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Vidic,
Evans, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley (Scholes 82), Valencia, Kagawa (Van Persie 65), Young, Welbeck.

Subs not used:
Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Hernandez, Buttner.

Goals: McAuley 9 (og), Van Persie 90

Booked: Valencia

West
Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell, Thorne, Brunt (Morrison 75),
Rosenberg (Lukaku 67), Dorrans (Fortune 83), Odemwingie, Long.

Subs not used: Myhill, El
Ghanassy, Jara Reyes, Dawson

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

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And when Van Persie curled home a brilliant effort in the final minute, the Red Devils` handsome seven-point lead at the top of the table was preserved.

After all the furore around Ferguson's confrontation with Mike Dean on Boxing Day, mascot Fred the Red probably approached the United boss with a degree of trepidation as the pair met on the touchline prior to kick off.

The exchange was cordial, though, as was the jocular encounter between Ferguson and fourth official Phil Dowd shortly afterwards.

And once the match started, referee Jon Moss did little to get the United manager vexed, beyond an inexplicable free-kick against Tom Cleverley when the midfielder had been looking at a dropping ball on the edge of his own box when Billy Jones crashed into him.

/12/29/article-2254524-16AF5D93000005DC-775_634x384.jpg” width=”634″ height=”384″ alt=”Bullet: Van Persie climbed off the bench to seal all three points for United against West Brom” class=”blkBorder” />

Bullet: Van Persie climbed off the bench to seal all three points for United against West Brom

Vidic was wide with a couple of headers and Gabriel Tamas turned away Michael Carrick's goalbound shot.

The nearest United went to doubling their lead was when Young strode onto a deflected Antonio Valencia cross.

He hit it sweetly on the half volley, only for former Red Devils keeper Ben Foster to respond with a brilliant save, which earned his slice of good fortune when he shoved the ball onto the crossbar and over.

Provider: Ashley Young's cross was turned in by McAuley for the opening goal of the game

Provider: Ashley Young's cross was turned in by McAuley for the opening goal of the game

West Bromwich Albion's Gareth McAuley, second left, reacts after deflecting in a shot by Manchester United's Ashley Young, second right, for a own goal

Danny Welbeck – afforded a rare start in a central striking berth – and Shinji Kagawa – back for the first time since suffering a knee injury in October – both sparkled for the hosts, who were so obviously on top.

With a defence that has leaked so many goals this season, Ferguson would not have felt safe.

Yet the presence of Vidic offered some degree of comfort.

Steel: Nemanja Vidic helped shore up a previously leaky Unite defence

Steel: Nemanja Vidic helped shore up a previously leaky Unite defence

The Serbian has been absent so often over the past 15 months it has almost been forgotten what a calming influence he is.

His bravery is unquestioned too. And when Chris Brunt drilled a free-kick goalwards in the final throes of the opening period, it was no surprise Vidic should be the one to emerge from a crowd of bodies having headed it away.

However, with the clock ticking by and heavy rain continuing to pour down on a sodden surface that required a precautionary inspection a couple of hours before kick-off, United started to get stuck.

Doubt: The match at Old Trafford went ahead despite torrential rain prior to kick off

Doubt: The match at Old Trafford went ahead despite torrential rain prior to kick off

Young completely miskicked when Valencia's cross presented a golden opportunity on the hour, which offered a Baggies outfit already growing in self-belief more reason for optimism.

Had Brunt's piledriver been either side of David de Gea it surely would have brought the visitors level.

As it was, the shot went straight to the Spain keeper.

Friendly chat Sir Alex Ferguson with fourth official Phil Dowd and mascot Fred the Red

Friendly chat Sir Alex Ferguson with fourth official Phil Dowd and mascot Fred the Red

Little wonder Van Persie's arrival midway through the second period was greeted with such enthusiasm, underlining the Dutchman's influence since his summer move from Arsenal.

West Brom were in the mood, though.

And with United's passing becoming increasingly sloppy, they continued to push on with force.

Back in action: Shinji Kagawa made his return for United following an injury lay-off

Back in action: Shinji Kagawa made his return for United following an injury lay-off

Vidic needed to be in the right place to clear a Romelu Lukaku cross that threatened panic inside the United six-yard box and the sight of his fellow defenders throwing themselves at anything that moved, it had turned into an unedifying backs-to-the-wall effort so unlike the thrill-a-minute action this stadium has become used to.

Van Persie was denied by Foster with nine minutes remaining but the former England keeper could do nothing about the Dutchman's late shot, which curled expertly into the top corner from Paul Scholes' pass.

Manchester United 4 Newcastle 3 match report: Javier Hernandez winner

Manchester United 4 Newcastle 3: Hernandez nets late winner to settle thriller after Fergie rages at officials again

|

UPDATED:

17:37 GMT, 26 December 2012

In the final minute of a thrilling encounter Javier Hernandez netted his 10th goal of the season and sent Manchester United seven points clear at the top of the table.

Three times Newcastle led in the search for their first Old Trafford win since 1972 and three times they were pegged back.

Their pain at defeat, Sir Alex Ferguson's altercation with the officials and a serious looking injury to Vurnon Anita were the only sad aspects of a staggering day that showed off all that is so alluring about English football.

Decider: Javier Hernandez struck the late winner in typically clinical fashion

Decider: Javier Hernandez struck the late winner in typically clinical fashion

Seeing red: Sir Ferguson was furious with referee Mike Dean and the officials after Newcastle's second goal

Seeing red: Sir Ferguson was furious with referee Mike Dean and the officials after Newcastle's second goal

Match facts

Man United: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes (Cleverley 69), Giggs, Van Persie, Hernandez (Fletcher 90).

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Vidic, Buttner, Wootton, Tunnicliffe.

Booked: Evans, Valencia, Hernandez.

Goals: Evans 25, Evra 58, Van Persie 71, Hernandez 90.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Anita, Perch, Bigirimana (Obertan 65), Cisse (Sammy Ameobi 79), Ba (Shola Ameobi 71), Marveaux.

Subs not used: Elliot, Ferguson, Tavernier, Campbell.

Booked: Simpson, Williamson, Cisse.

Goals: Perch 4, Evans 28 og, Cisse 68.

Att: 75,596

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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After stumbling at Swansea, the last thing Ferguson wanted was a nosedive against Newcastle.

Yet the worries began when the teams were announced.

With Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young
injured and Danny Welbeck out through illness, Ferguson was short of
attacking options beyond Hernandez and Robin van Persie.

Even more concerning was the presence
of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes in the same starting line-up for the
first time since September.

With a combined age of 77, a sizeable
number of Red Devils followers now believe it is time one of the pair –
or both – should be pensioned off.

It is a harsh judgement given what
Giggs and Scholes have done down the years, but with Michael Carrick
also present it was clear Newcastle were not going to be over-run down
the middle of the pitch.

For all this, it was in defence where the hosts were found so badly wanting.

The conditions were against him, but
after Carrick gifted the visitors' possession to the visitors cheaply
inside his own half, David De Gea should have done much better than
meekly parry Demba Ba's skimmer straight to James Perch.

For a player who had never previously
scored for Newcastle, Perch could hardly have hoped for an easier
opportunity to break his duck.

Opener: James Perch celebrates his goal

Opener: James Perch celebrates his goal

Good Evans: The United defender scored just three minutes before putting the ball in his own net

Good Evans: The United defender scored just three minutes before putting the ball in his own net

Good Evans: The United defender scored just three minutes before putting the ball in his own net

Behind once more, United's attempts to force their way back were not convincing.

But when Van Persie drilled a free-kick into the Newcastle box, Hernandez pounced on the loose ball.

The Mexican's shot was blocked by Tim Krul, only for Jonny Evans to slide into the empty net.

It was the start of a hectic period
for the Northern Irishman, who was booked for handball after becoming
the third player this season – following Rooney and Gareth Bale – to
score at both ends.

Fury: Ferguson told Mike Dean exactly what he thought

Fury: Ferguson told Mike Dean exactly what he thought

Fury: Ferguson told Mike Dean exactly what he thought

That hardly tells the whole story
though, as the debate over what now constitutes offside erupted after
Evans turned a shot from United old-boy Danny Simpson past De Gea.

As Graham Poll quickly confirmed on Twitter
referee Mike Dean had got it right; it can only be assumed Papiss Cisse
remained 'non-active' despite pressurising Evans from an offside
position.

Ferguson was not similarly convinced.

As Dean made his way onto the pitch
for the start of the second-half, Ferguson confronted the referee to
make his feelings known.

Fourth official Neil Swarbrick also
got it in the neck before the United manager rounded on assistant
referee Jake Collin, who had initially raised his flag, believing Cisse
had got the final touch.

Back in it: Patrice Evra made it 2-2 just before the hour mark

Back in it: Patrice Evra made it 2-2 just before the hour mark

Three and easy: Papiss Cisse thought he'd won it for Newcastle

Three and easy: Papiss Cisse thought he'd won it for Newcastle

Thankfully, Dean had the good sense to speak to his fellow official at the time, ensuring justice was done.

For United, the spin-off was that the
hairdryer treatment sparked a marked improvement and just before the
hour Evra hauled them level for a second time when his low shot beat
Krul to the bottom corner.

Yet the cruise to victory never materialised.

Instead came more of the Kamikaze defending that has characterised United's season.

Three but not easy: Robin van Persie struck United's third equaliser of the game

Three but not easy: Robin van Persie struck United's third equaliser of the game

Red Devils old-boy Gabriel Obertan streaked down the wing and delivered a perfect cross for Cisse to smash home.

Newcastle held this lead for three
minutes before Van Persie drove in his 16th goal of the season after
Krul had saved his initial shot.

Now Ferguson and Alan Pardew could
only stand on the touchline and watch as this breathless, chaotic game
headed for its conclusion.

United fury at a handball claim
against Fabricio Coloccini that went unheeded was replaced by anguish as
both Van Persie and Hernandez went close.

At the death: Javier Hernandez wheels away after scoring the final goal of the game

At the death: Javier Hernandez wheels away after scoring the final goal of the game

De Gea got away with a near-calamitous
misjudgement when he allowed Sammy Ameobi's shot to roll past him,
thinking it was going wide, only for it to hit a post and rebound
straight back.

Hernandez was denied by Krul at the other end before Van Persie headed over as injury-time approached.

Like two heavyweights slugging it out,
swinging for all they were worth, their reliance on instinct total,
there was one punch left.

And with it Hernandez knocked Newcastle out.

Manchester United v Newcastle, Norwich v Chelsea, Sunderland v Manchester City, Evrton v Wigan, Fulham v Southampton, QPR v West Brom, Reading v…

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Boxing Day action from around the grounds as it happens

|

UPDATED:

14:13 GMT, 26 December 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League's Boxing Day action with seven fixtures including Manchester United's home clash with Newcastle kicking off at 3pm. Elsewhere it is Everton v Wigan, Fulham v Southampton, Norwich v Chelsea, QPR v West Brom, Reading v Swansea and Sunderland v Manchester City.

Have your say by contacting Rik Sharma on Twitter: @rbsfeatures

2.12pm: News in that QPR v West Brom will kick off 15 minutes late.

Manchester United v Newcastle

Man United: De Gea, Smalling, Evra, Evans, Ferdinand, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Scholes, Hernandez, van Persie.

Newcastle: Krul, Coloccini, Santon, Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Anita, Marveaux, Bigirimana, Cisse, Ba.

So – Rooney has been dropped but Alan Pardew continues to play his out-of-form striker Papiss Cisse. Will he come good today

2.09: OK, here we go. Teams dropping in left, right and centre.

2.07: All the team news for today's 3pm kick-offs is on the way. Early indications are that Wayne Rooney has been dropped by Manchester United after his poor performance in the draw with Swansea on Sunday.

2.05: West Brom's coach was stuck in traffic on their way to Loftus Road to face QPR, but they've arrived now and are preparing for the game.

2pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of the Boxing Day football. I trust you all had a superb Christmas and aren't too full to feast again, but this time on goals!

Boxing day highlight: Manchester United host Newcastle at Old Trafford

Boxing day highlight: Manchester United host Newcastle at Old Trafford

Alex Ferguson backs Manchester United to beat City despite injuries

Ferguson backs depleted United to beat City despite growing injury list

|

UPDATED:

15:11 GMT, 8 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he has the numbers to cope ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season.

The Manchester United boss has confirmed Anderson, Nani and Antonio Valencia will miss the Etihad Stadium encounter.

In addition, Ferguson has claimed the game will come too soon for Japan forward Shinji Kagawa and that skipper Nemanja Vidic is unwilling to risk another setback after spending virtually 12 months on the sidelines with major knee problems.

Out: Nemanja Vidic remains on the sidelines through injury

Out: Nemanja Vidic remains on the sidelines through injury

Yet Ferguson does not view the absences as a handicap, more of a predictable inconvenience ahead of a big game.

'I know we have some injury problems but we are not short of a squad,' Ferguson told MUTV.

'I have plenty of experience to bring in. I rested Darren Fletcher against Cluj on Wednesday and just brought him on for the last 10 minutes.

'Michael Carrick will be back in. I also have Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

'That is what big squads allow you to do.

'You don't have every player every week. Our supporters must recognise that.

'Over the years we have had injury situations. Every club gets them.

'Normally you work on 10 per cent of your squad being out every week with some sort of injury.

'That is the situation we are in at the moment but it is not desperate by any means.'

Preparation: United train ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season

Preparation: United train ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season

The Vidic situation is an interesting one.

Ferguson has repeatedly stated the Serbian's desire not to push himself.

However, he is training and his presence could prove to be the answer as Ferguson tries to find a solution for his side's defensive frailties that risk being exposed by a City outing boasting some obvious dangers in the air, not least Vincent Kompany, who scored the winner last season from the kind of set piece United are having nightmares with.

In addition, with Aleksandar Kolarov ruled out and Gael Clichy doubtful, Antonio Valencia could be a potent weapon, with both Gary Neville and Bryan Robson pointing out in the build-up that the South American's absence could have a negative effect on the outcome from a United perspective.

And for the Red Devils, victory is important, not only to open up a six-point lead on the most obvious threat to their Premier League title hopes, but to end a cycle of depressing results against their neighbours.

Main man: Alex Ferguson will be looking for Robin Van Persie to fire his side

Main man: Alex Ferguson will be looking for Robin Van Persie to fire his side

'The fact City have emerged over the last couple of years, and won the league last season, you know they are going to be our main competitors, so a positive result there would be a big boost,' said Ferguson.

And it does seem, that whilst Roberto Mancini is a very different character to Ferguson, he has managed to inject City with the same streak that has made United so hard to beat down the years.

'They are playing similarly to last year,' said Ferguson.

'Early season last year they did very well. But as the season progressed they were in the same place they are now.

'They are still scoring late goals, which is a strong trait if you are going to win a championship.

'It shows you that they are not going to give in.

'They are dangerous in the last few minutes of matches, especially Edin Dzeko, when they bring him on, so they have certain traits that are easily identifiable.'

Nani cousin Rico Gomes Leaves Manchester United to sign for Stalybridge Celtic

Nani's cousin Gomes signs for Celtic after failing to make grade at United (Stalybridge Celtic, that is)

|

UPDATED:

16:14 GMT, 3 December 2012

Rico Gomes, the cousin of Manchester United winger Nani, has signed for Stalybridge Celtic.

Gomes, 19, who has had trials with Stoke City in the past, came through the ranks at United's academy but was released earlier this season and is linking up with nearby Blue Square Bet North side Celtic who are managed by Jim Harvey, the former Arsenal and Tranmere midfielder.

The Portuguese winger was tipped to be a big star. He has played for Portugal's Under 16s and figured in Manchester United's Milk Cup winning side in 2009.

Family affair Nani's cousin has not made the grade at Old Trafford

Family affair Nani's cousin has not made the grade at Old Trafford

Quick and similar in style to his cousin, Gomes hopes to use Celtic as a springboard to finding another league club.

They stand 11th in the Blue Square Bet North division and face Solihull Moors on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson has defended United's form this season.

The Red Devils head to Reading this evening knowing victory will ensure they are top of the Barclays Premier League when they take on City in the first Manchester derby of the season at the Etihad Stadium on December 8.

Some critics cannot quite believe it, nor that United have a seven-point advantage over third-placed Chelsea, given that their performances at times have been quite poor.

They have gone behind on an incredible 13 occasions and Michael Carrick described Wednesday’s win over West Ham as “far from a classic”.

However, Ferguson is not joining the criticism.

'I don't think the form has been that bad to be honest,' he said. 'But when you are manager of this club, you have to go through that analysis about Manchester United not being as good as they used to be.

'We are still top of the league so we must be doing something right.'

Top of the pile: United are making a habit of coming from behind to win games

Top of the pile: United are making a habit of coming from behind to win games