Tag Archives: reception

Barcelona: Cesc Fabregas hat-trick Eric Abidal returns after transplant

Fabregas scores hat-trick but Abidal gets Nou Camp ovation on emotional return

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

21:59 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

08:45 GMT, 7 April 2013

Cesc Fabregas scored the first hat-trick of his career as Barcelona moved closer to the Primera Division title with a 5-0 victory over Real Mallorca, but the main story was the return to action of Eric Abidal after a year out following liver surgery.

The home side were also inspired by
head coach Tito Vilanova, who was on the Nou Camp touchline for the
first time since January after undergoing treatment for cancer.

Abidal's appearance brought the crowd
to their feet, with the Frenchman given a standing ovation when he
replaced Gerard Pique in the 70th minute.

Happy return: Barcelona's Eric Abidal received a rousing reception

Happy return: Barcelona's Eric Abidal received a rousing reception

Happy return: Eric Abidal

The 33-year-old former France
defender, who was passed fit to return to training with his team mates
last month, is a huge favourite with the Barca fans.

In a pitch-side television interview with Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus, Abidal thanked the cousin who provided part of his liver for the procedure.

'It was a very special moment for me after a year out,' said Abidal, wearing a shirt with 'Merci mon cousin' on the front.

Tribute: Abidal shows a shirt to thank his cousin who donated his liver

Tribute: Abidal shows a shirt to thank his cousin who donated his liver

'I want to thank my cousin as without him I would not be here today. It is a unique moment,' he added.

Abidal's return is well timed as Barca centre backs Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano and full back Adriano are all out injured at a critical stage of the season.

In the game itself, it was Fabregas who commanded the spotlight. In the injury-enforced absence of Lionel Messi, he scored three and
set up two for Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona romped home.

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Mallorca held their own but it was no surprise when Barcelona made the breakthrough with two goals in two minutes.

Fabregas carried the ball from midfield and played a one-two with Alexis before steadying himself and coolly slotting the ball home across goalkeeper Dudu Aouate.

Mallorca's heads went down and in the 22nd minute they found themselves 2-0 adrift. This time Fabregas cut inside on the left of the area before unleashing a shot which Aouate pushed away from goal only for Alexis to follow up and fire home.

On the scoresheet: Alexis Sanchez was also on target in Barcelona's facile victory

On the scoresheet: Alexis Sanchez was also on target in Barcelona's facile victory

In the 37th minute an intricate passing move ended with Fabregas laying a first-time ball off to Alexis on the right of the area which he reciprocated for Fabregas to drill home.

The former Arsenal captain was involved everywhere and a minute later he provided a superb pass over the top for Alexis, who had got between two defenders, controlling the ball with his right before slotting home with his left.

Fabregas wrapped up his hat-trick seconds after the restart when he collected Iniesta's threaded ball and checked inside the defender before slotting home from close range.

Montenegro mayhem is nothing new for England

Montenegro mayhem is nothing new for England as Roy's boys return to Podgorica

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Back again: England have played in Podgorica before, in a qualifier for Euro 2012…

Back again: England have played in Podgorica before, in a qualifier for Euro 2012...

A picture of Bent in action features prominently in the programme for tomorrow's game but these days he cannot hold down at place at Aston Villa and among Roy Hodgson's big decisions ahead of his big night is who to pair with Rooney.

The stadium will rattle with noise. Pictures have been painted of a hostile reception from the local fans but if the last visit is anything to go by this will be nothing more sinister than a spirited reception for a newly-independent nation.

...and the home fans celebrated on the pitch after watching their team secure a draw

…and the home fans celebrated on the pitch after watching their team secure a draw

As so often in this part of the world, the football team has given the former Yugoslav states a platform to show who they are and what they stand form.

The people of Montenegro provide a warm welcome. The fervour inside the stadium is because this little team is proudly punching above its weight.

Scoring for fun: England will find it much tougher in Montenegro than they did in San Marino on Friday

Scoring for fun: England will find it much tougher in Montenegro than they did in San Marino on Friday

Teams emerge from a tunnel in the corner of this 12,000-capactiy ground, beneath the noisiest of the supporters.

The game in October 2011 culminated in a pitch invasion but this was due mainly to the euphoria of the team's progress into the play-offs.

What Hodgson can be sure of is that it will be uncomfortable and many of those in his team were not on the pitch the last time.

Red mist: It was in Montenegro in 2011 that Wayne Rooney was sent off for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovoic

Red mist: It was in Montenegro in 2011 that Wayne Rooney was sent off for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovoic

Red mist: It was in Montenegro in 2011 that Wayne Rooney was sent off for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovoic

Branko Brnovic's team will be disciplined and tight at the back, reliant upon the star strikers Stevan Jovetic and Mirko Vucinic to provide the magic up front, perhaps pinch a goal which will turn the pressure on England.

How can they can cope That will be the test.

Rooney's red is a warning to them all. They must manage their frustration and they must think clearly amid the din.

Nemanja Vidic plays for Manchester United after injury

'Warrior' Vidic returns to action to delight Ferguson and the Old Trafford faithful

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UPDATED:

22:23 GMT, 15 December 2012

Nemanja Vidic made his return from injury during Manchester United's 3-1 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford on Saturday and received a rousing reception.

The Red Devils back-line has looked exceptionally leaky this season without him and their manager was delighted the Serbian was back in business.

Sir Alex Ferguson said: 'He is a warrior and a captain who has always battled for you. He sticks his head on the ball in that penalty box and he’s great at that.'

In command: Nemanja Vidic made a welcome return from injury for Manchester United

In command: Nemanja Vidic made a welcome return from injury for Manchester United

Nice to see you: Rio Ferdinand high-fives United team-mate Vidic

Nice to see you: Rio Ferdinand high-fives United team-mate Vidic

Vidic, 31, had played just five games for the club over the past year.

He sustained knee ligament damage last season when playing against Basel in the Champions League and suffered further setbacks this term.

Funnily enough, United conceded after Vidic came on as a substitute in the 68th minute for Rio Ferdinand.

Fraizer Campbell scored four minutes after his introduction and Sunderland could have even added to their tally after that.

Ferguson was furious that the visitors had been allowed several chances which could have cost United the game.

'Sunderland could have had two or three towards the end; it could have been embarrassing,' said the United manager.

'For an hour we were fantastic,' Ferguson continued. 'I don't know if we relaxed or Sunderland picked up the baton 20 minutes from time.

'They could have scored two or three goals. But Sunderland deserved a goal because they worked so hard for it. They had a lot of energy in the second half. They have a youngish team and kept going.'

Young defender Chris Smalling was also pleased his more experienced colleague returned to action.

'It's brilliant to see him back,' said Smalling. 'He's been training really well and we've got real strength in numbers now because we've been a bit stretched, particularly in defence.'

Warrior: Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Vidic (below) for his defensive tenacity

Warrior: Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Vidic (below) for his defensive tenacity

Nemanja Vidic

Nemanja Vidic

Liverpool training: Jamie Carragher dons shorts and Brendan Rodgers without gloves at Melwood

Frosty reception for Liverpool at training… with Carragher as only player to dare the big freeze in his shorts

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UPDATED:

15:02 GMT, 13 December 2012

Liverpool were handed a frosty reception when they arrived at Melwood Training Ground on Thursday.

The Reds, who host Aston Villa on Saturday, were put through their paces by Brendan Rodgers. The Liverpool manager was the only member of his staff and playing squad brave enough to brace the arctic conditions without gloves.

Braving the cold: Rodgers took training without gloves while Carragher (below) donned a pair of shorts

Braving the cold: Rodgers took training without gloves while Carragher (below) donned a pair of shorts

Braving the cold: Rodgers took training without gloves while Carragher (below) donned a pair of shorts

Although Liverpool veteran Jamie Carragher gave his boss a run for his money with the veteran donning a pair of shorts during the cold snap.

The MailOnline columnist embraced the barmy conditions without trousers as the rest of his team-mates were dressed head-to-toe in winter clothing… although we're pleased to announced no snoods were on display.

All smiles: Lucas and Jordan Henderson mess around on the floor as Steven Gerrard acknowledges the photographers

All smiles: Lucas and Jordan Henderson mess around on the floor as Gerrard acknowledges the snappers

All smiles: Lucas and Jordan Henderson mess around on the floor as Steven Gerrard acknowledges the photographers

Among those who were absent from training at Melwood this morning was Jose Enrique, who is confident his side will collect a full quota of points when they face Villa and then host Fulham seven days later.

But the Spaniard admits he's unsure whether he'll feature for Rodgers's side this weekend.

Pepe Reina

Raheem Sterling

On the ball: Pepe Reina and Raheem Sterling are put through their paces on Thursday morning

Happy: Luis Suarez appeared to enjoy training in the cold

Happy: Luis Suarez appeared to enjoy training in the cold at Melwood

'I am okay, but I don't know if I'll be ready for the game,' said Enrique, who remains a doubt after limping out of Liverpool's 3-2 win at West Ham last Sunday.

'It's nothing bad, but I don't know if I'll be able to play.' Speaking to the club's website, Enrique added: 'I've had some treatment and then we will see. I hope I can be fit for the game.'

Rafael Benitez and Clint Dempsey set for frosty receptions

10 things to look out for this weekend: Benitez and Dempsey braced for frosty welcomes as Everton set to battle at Etihad

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UPDATED:

12:57 GMT, 30 November 2012

As another weekend of Premier League action approaches, Sportsmail's Dominic King offers a break-down of things to keep an eye on.

From Rafael Benitez's latest frosty reception to Everton's bid to snatch three points at the Etihad, it's all below in our comprehensive list.

1. What type of ovation will Rafa Benitez receive

Chelsea managers travelling to Upton Park don’t tend to be warmly welcomed but the barbs are usually directed from the home end.

The Spaniard needs a win to settle things down but not even a victory in this grudge match will endear him to Chelsea’s supporters.

Not again: Rafa Benitez is set for another frosty reception when he takes his team to Upton Park

Not again: Rafa Benitez is set for another frosty reception when he takes his team to Upton Park

Banners: Chelsea fans have booed Benitez in both of his games in charge so far

Banners: Chelsea fans have booed Benitez in both of his games in charge so far

2. Home sweet home for Arsene

Arsenal’s urbane manager remains confident that this season will end with Champions League qualification being secured once more but he could do with his side producing a result and performance like the one that blew Tottenham away earlier this month.

But will the goals flow Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny (85 per cent) and Swansea stopper Gerhard Tremmel (81 per cent) have the best save percentage in the Barclays Premier League.

3 Welcome back, Clint

Players who move to pastures new after giving their all for a club are usually guaranteed a warm reception on their first return but 64 goals in 224 games for Fulham is unlikely to be enough to save Clint Dempsey from a barrage of boos when he sets foot on Craven Cottage wearing a Tottenham kit.

Get ready: Clint Dempsey is also preparing to be booed when he returns to Fulham with Tottenham

Get ready: Clint Dempsey is also preparing to be booed when he returns to Fulham with Tottenham

4. Can anyone else find the net for Liverpool other Luis Suarez

Since September 29, Liverpool’s highest scorer behind the Uruguayan is own goals. Brendan Rodgers keeps enthusing that his side’s play has been “terrific” but until some steps up to support Suarez, their difficulties will persist.

A more startling statistic is Liverpool are chasing back-to-back home wins for the first time since September 2011. Southampton, meanwhile, are chasing a first clean sheet of the season.

5. All guns blazing at the Etihad or another ‘Alamo’

When Everton last ventured down the M62 to this part of Manchester, David Moyes felt like he was “walking into a gun fight armed with just a knife”, such was the disparity and depth of talent between the two sides.

Now, though, Everton make the same journey imbued with confidence. Roberto Mancini is sure to be twitchy as he only won one game in six attempts against Everton.

Travelling band: Everton will visit the Etihad to try and take three points back to Merseyside

Travelling band: Everton will visit the Etihad to try and take three points back to Merseyside

6. Is he really Harry Houdini

After serving up a goal-less draw for starters at Sunderland, QPR fans will head to Loftus Road anticipating their first victory of the season in Harry Redknapp’s first home game.

He might be a top class manager but it will take more than just a couple of training sessions to transform QPR – or does he really have a magic wand

Houdini Harry Redknapp is preparing his team in a bid to earn their first win

Houdini Harry Redknapp is preparing his team in a bid to earn their first win

7. Which Michael will we see

Since joining Stoke, Michael Owen has been spotted more in television studios than he has on the pitch but Tony Pulis is hopeful he will recover from a hamstring problem to feature against West Brom.

The big question if he is spotted at The Hawthorns, however, is this: will his Village People-esque Movember moustache remain or will he be fresh faced again

Which Michael Owen (left) will be hoping to be among the goals for Stoke this weekend

Which Michael Owen (left) will be hoping to be among the goals for Stoke this weekend

8. Will Red Robin emulate Eric the Red

It is two decades since Manchester United completed one of the most remarkable transfers in the Barclays Premier League era when bringing Eric Cantona to the club from Leeds; 20 years on, Robin van Persie has made an assured start to life at Old Trafford following a similarly contentious move.

Will he maintain his good form in Berkshire.

9. The perfect farewell or the long goodbye

Away from the Barclays Premier League, one of the biggest narratives is David Beckham’s final game for Los Angeles Galaxy.

History has shown his last games for clubs tend to be spectacular – league championship wins with Manchester United and Real Madrid – and would you put it past him scripting a Hollywood ending in the MLS Cup

Fond farewell David Beckham is ready for his final game for LA Galaxy this weekend

Fond farewell David Beckham is ready for his final game for LA Galaxy this weekend

10. Which numbers will be the lucky ones

Every year we hear that the FA Cup has lost its old sheen and lustre but the excitement will be the same as always when the third round draw is made on Sunday afternoon. What are the odds that a real blockbuster tie will be plucked out… perhaps even a return to Anfield for Rafa Benitez

He would certainly be guaranteed a good reception then.

Manchester United stay top as Chelsea stutter again

Quickfire Van Persie keeps United top as City stay in touch… but it's another night on the boos for Benitez as Chelsea draw blank

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UPDATED:

21:57 GMT, 28 November 2012

Any goal you can score, I can score quicker…

Theo Walcott scored the fastest goal of the Barclays Premier League season (52 seconds), but he was soon overtaken by former team-mate Robin van Persie.

The Manchester United striker has now hit the net in his last five games against West Ham and he scored after 33 seconds to get the leaders off to a flying start.

Quick of the mark: Robin van Persie scored after just 31 seconds as Manchester United hosted West Ham

Quick of the mark: Robin van Persie scored after just 31 seconds as Manchester United hosted West Ham

Flying start: Theo Walcott was celebrating after scoring for Arsenal in the first minute of their match at Everton
Flying start: Theo Walcott was celebrating after scoring for Arsenal in the first minute of their match at Everton

But there were no goals for the second successive game at Chelsea, where Fulham celebrated a point.

It was the only match without a goal and it brought more boos for Rafa Benitez.

The result (predicted by MailOnline’s Neil Ashton before kick-off) leaves Chelsea seven points behind the leaders Manchester United and the home fans sang the name of sacked manager Roberto di Matteo again.

Start me up: Mario Balotelli (left) was back in the Manchester City XI for the first time in six games

Start me up: Mario Balotelli (left) was back in the Manchester City XI for the first time in six games

All eyes on Rafa: Benitez was taking charge of his second game since being handed the reins at Chelsea

All eyes on Rafa: Benitez was taking charge of his second game since being handed the reins at Chelsea

On a night with eight Premier League games, Manchester City won at Wigan with Mario Balotelli scoring his first Premier League goal of the season.

It followed a mistake by Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and James Milner scored a screamer into the top corner to see them home.

Spurs defeated Liverpool, with Gareth Bale scoring at both ends – including a comedy own goal.

Rousing reception: Mark Clattenburg (3rd right) was cheered to the rafters after he warmed up for his return

Rousing reception: Mark Clattenburg (3rd right) was cheered to the rafters after he warmed up for his return

Pick that out: Gareth Bale (right) doubled the lead for Spurs against Liverpool with a free-kick

Pick that out: Gareth Bale (right) doubled the lead for Spurs against Liverpool with a free-kick

At Goodison Park, Everton drew 1-1 with Arsenal, despite Walcott’s speedy opener. Marouane Fellaini scored the equaliser.

Swansea stopped high-flying West Brom with a convincing 3-1 win. Michu scored two to take his tally to eight Premier League goals this season. Only Luis Surez has scored more (10).

Sorry Toon : Papiss Cisse fired Newcastle ahead against Stoke but the joy was short lived

Sorry Toon : Papiss Cisse fired Newcastle ahead against Stoke but the joy was short lived

Newcastle’s run of bad results continued – it’s only one win in nine games since Alan Pardew signed his new eight-year contract. They led 1-0 at Stoke, but lost 2-1.

Grant Holt stormed off the pitch after being substituted at Southampton, where Norwich stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches in a 1-1 draw.

Referee Mark Clattenburg made a return to the game and was clapped during his warm up by home supporters.

All white on the night: Swansea refused to lie down when they faced high-flying West Bromwich Albion

All white on the night: Swansea refused to lie down when they faced high-flying West Bromwich Albion

Wayne Rooney warns Manchester United about Andy Carroll

He's a handful! Rooney says United defenders must be at their best to deal with Carroll

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UPDATED:

18:38 GMT, 27 November 2012

Wayne Rooney has urged Manchester United to pay special attention to Andy Carroll tomorrow night.

Carroll is bound to get a frosty reception from the Old Trafford faithful when West Ham travel north tomorrow night.

As a Liverpool player with an enormous price tag, it is hard to imagine the United fans will not single him out.

Handful: Wayne Rooney has warned United defenders to prepare themselves for a battle with Andy Carroll (above)

Handful: Wayne Rooney has warned United defenders to prepare themselves for a battle with Andy Carroll (above)

However, after working alongside the 23-year-old at close quarters during Euro 2012, Rooney knows the reality of Carroll’s performances is nowhere near the perception many have of him.

The burly forward will travel north with confidence high following his first goal of the season at Tottenham on Sunday.

And Rooney has warned his United team-mates to be on their guard. 'Andy Carroll is a handful,' said the striker.

'I am sure if you ask any defender, they find it difficult to play against someone like that who is good in the air and on the floor.

'He is physical and makes it hard for opponents.

'That type of player doesn’t always get all the goals but they can cause trouble up front and create problems.

'I am sure that is what Sam Allardyce wants him to do.'

Rather like Rooney, Carroll is like a lightning conductor for attention.

It seems he cannot have a quiet game, when he blends into the background.

He has to either be sensational or rubbish, with the brutal assessment often falling on the latter.

Tough to stop: Carroll scored his first goal for West Ham against Tottenham on Sunday

Tough to stop: Carroll scored his first goal for West Ham against Tottenham on Sunday

Ready: Rooney and his Manchester United team welcome West Ham to Old Trafford on Wednesday

Ready: Rooney and his Manchester United team welcome West Ham to Old Trafford on Wednesday

Rooney knows from personal experience such situations are never quite so black and white.

However, he accepts they come with the territory.

'It is something you get used to,' he said.

'In the Premier League, you are there to be judged, whether that is good or bad.

'You just have to deal with it.'

Carroll is an obvious threat given United’s Achilles heel of conceding the first goal.

It has happened on an incredible 13 occasions this season, including in their last five games.

Indeed, United have somehow managed to clamber to the top of the Premier League despite managing just a single clean sheet, against Wigan at Old Trafford in September.

It is a record Rooney accepts must be rectified if United are going to maintain their present status.

'Clean sheets are the foundation we try and achieve because we have plenty of players who can score goals and win games,' he said.

'As a team we are playing some good stuff at times but we are having to grind out results as well.

'Losing three games already is something we need to put right.

Heated: United beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 at Old Trafford at the weekend

Heated: United beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 at Old Trafford at the weekend

'We have been lucky that we haven’t drawn any matches and we need to kick on from here and go on a good run.'

With Paul Scholes suspended, Sir Alex Ferguson has already confirmed Anderson will start for only the second time in the Premier League this season.

It is also possible either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling will replace Rafael at right-back given the sheer number of games the young Brazilian has been involved in this season.

The way Ferguson has tended to swap round his goalkeepers this term, David de Gea might also come in for Anders Lindegaard, whilst it is doubtful Darren Fletcher will be asked to feature in his third game of the week despite scoring his first Premier League goal in 13 months at the weekend.

Up for the fight: Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher (left)

Up for the fight: Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher (left)

Having gained the benefit of Chelsea’s draw with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, United are now looking to maximise their advantage, knowing the first derby of the season is looming at the Etihad Stadium on December 9.

'We know City and Chelsea will be looking out for our results as we look out for theirs,' said Rooney.

'But it is important for us to concentrate on our own performances and make sure we get the wins because there are a lot of games coming up.

'It is tough period and I am sure the manager will use his squad. We just have to make sure we come through for him.'

Rafa Benitez demands Chelsea fans respect

Show me respect, demands Benitez after Chelsea fans turn on new boss

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UPDATED:

00:37 GMT, 26 November 2012

Rafa Benitez told Chelsea boo-boys to show him more respect after a bitter fans’ protest.

Benitez, who took charge of Chelsea for the first time in their 0-0 draw against Manchester City, was given a hostile reception by fans, who repeatedly hailed their Champions League-winning former manager Roberto Di Matteo.

Supporters sang ‘f*** off, Benitez’ repeatedly and hundreds of Chelsea supporters held up ‘Robbie IN, Rafa OUT’ placards in a poisonous atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.


Already Chelsea fans made their feelings about Rafa Benitez clear

Already Chelsea fans made their feelings about Rafa Benitez clear

Already Chelsea fans made their feelings about Rafa Benitez clear

Benitez said: ‘Some of the fans will realise it’s not the way to support their team and some will know they have a professional manager in charge. If we win games it will change perception and I have the confidence we will win a lot of games.
‘I was asking people “what are they singing” but I don’t care. I was just focused on the game and doing my best.
‘How many people does it take to write a banner Just one or two. If we start winning games they will come on board and see I try to do my best.’

The Spanish coach, who spent six years at Liverpool and speaks perfect English, added: ‘When the fans are singing in the stands I don’t understand what they say. I understand the rivalry in the past, but I’m sure the majority will understand I am a professional.’

Not wanted: Benitez took over from Roberto Di Matteo last week

Not wanted: Benitez took over from Roberto Di Matteo last week

Chelsea's interim head coach Rafael Benitez

Goalkeeper Petr Cech believes Benitez deserves the chance to prove himself to Chelsea's supporters.

Cech told Sky Sports: 'Unfortunately you can't change history.

'We had a lot of rivalry against
Liverpool but he (Benitez) is here to try to change things, put us in a
winning mode, and he needs to get a chance to prove he deserves the
chance.'

Speaking about
Sunday's game and the departure of former manager Roberto Di Matteo,
Cech added: 'It's always bad news as a player because you are
responsible if you don't do well.

Grass is always greener: Fernando Torres had another bad day at the office

Grass is always greener: Fernando Torres had another bad day at the office

'Unfortunately you can't change the whole team and the manager is the first to go.

'Today was about starting from zero again and getting a positive result.

'You need some time when you change
the manager to get a positive result and mood and 0-0 against the
champions is not a bad result.'

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini admitted the only way to silence the Chelsea fans was to win matches.

Mancini said: ‘I don’t think Rafa is a magician, he can’t change everything in a few days.

Come back! Chelsea fans showed their support for sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo

Come back! Chelsea fans showed their support for sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo

Come back! Chelsea fans showed their support for sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo

‘As a manager I have never experienced anything like it, but the only way to respond is to win, win, win, win, win.

‘I can understand it’s not easy for
the new manager, but this is football. He’s a good manager and he will
have time to show this, because he has experience and has won a lot of
trophies, but it’s difficult to understand.’

Mancini was angry with his side after they failed to capitalise on the unease at the Bridge.

He added: ‘I’m not satisfied with one
point. To play here is always difficult. We can’t lose two points. We
were so poor in the last 20 minutes and, when we have a chance, we need
to score.

‘I like everything from my team but
not the last 20 minutes. We had chances to score but we missed the last
pass. You have to be strong with that in the box. If you are soft, you
won’t score.’

VIDEO: GRAHAM CHADWICK'S PICTURES FROM CHELSEA V MANCHESTER CITY

VIDEO: GRAHAM CHADWICK'S PICTURES FROM CHELSEA V MANCHESTER CITY

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2238240/Chelsea-0-Manchester-City-0–match-report.html#ixzz2DHhfn4NZ

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Robin van Persie deserves respect from Arsenal fans, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Van Persie deserves nothing but respect from Arsenal fans, insists Ferguson

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UPDATED:

14:32 GMT, 2 November 2012

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would be surprised if Robin van Persie was not given a warm reception by Arsenal fans this weekend.

The prolific Dutchman is poised to face his former club for the first time since joining United in a 24million summer deal as the Gunners visit Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Van Persie scored 37 goals for the Londoners last season but, with his contract running down, opted not to renew and the club sold to their rivals.

All smiles: Van Persie trains at Carrington on Friday

All smiles: Van Persie trains at Carrington on Friday

All smiles: Van Persie trains at Carrington on Friday alongside team-mate Wayne Rooney

The 29-year-old has since made a fine start at United, scoring nine times in 12 appearances.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said Van Persie, who was brought to England from Feyenoord by the Gunners in 2004, deserves respect and Ferguson agrees.

Ferguson said: 'I think Arsene has laid his seed for his supporters in terms of respecting him.

'I think, if you think about all the former players who have come back to Old Trafford, they always get a warm applause.

'I don't think he'll have a problem
tomorrow. I think the fans will recognise the eight years he gave them
and I think that will be nice.'

As
well as scoring goals, Van Persie has made a good all-round
contribution to the United cause and Ferguson thinks he has settled
quickly because no acclimatisation was necessary.

Ferguson said: 'He is a mature player and I think that helps, and the experience he has got playing eight years in England.

Dutch of class: Van Persie has got his United career off to a flying start

Dutch of class: Van Persie has got his United career off to a flying start

'The fact he has played in England makes it easier to go to another English club.

'It has been very satisfying for us. It has been a fantastic start and hopefully he keeps it going.'

Van Persie was on target for Arsenal on their forgettable last visit to Old Trafford in August last year, when they were hammered 8-2.

Ferguson is certainly not expecting a repeat of that extraordinary scoreline.

He said: 'It won't happen tomorrow, that's for sure.

'There is no point living in the past, we have just got to look forward to tomorrow.

'It
could be a way of motivating Arsenal, that is possible, but I think we
have got to have the motivation to make sure we win the match.'

Having
beaten leaders Chelsea last weekend, United, possibly only briefly,
could go top of the table with victory in the lunchtime kick-off.

Last time out: Van Persie has a penalty saved by David De Gea during Arsenal's 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford last year

Last time out: Van Persie has a penalty saved by David De Gea during Arsenal's 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford

But Ferguson, whose side enjoyed a fierce top-of-the-table rivalry with Arsenal in the last decade, believes Wenger's men are a tougher proposition than in the recent past.

Ferguson, who reaches the 26th anniversary of his appointment by United next week, said: 'Of course every game against Arsenal is always a big one.

'Since I have come down here it has always been a most important derby game, in the sense that both teams have been challenging for the league. It won't be any different tomorrow.

'I think they have improved defensively this year, there is no question about that. They are a solid team.

'I think they are stronger – physically stronger – if you look at the make-up of their team.

'(Lukas) Podolski, (Olivier) Giroud, all these players they have brought in are more physical types of player than they have had in the past.'

Both sides go into the game on the back of remarkable Capital One Cup ties that went to extra time in midweek.

Ready to go: Ferguson overseas training on Friday as his team prepare for the visit of Arsenal

Ready to go: Ferguson overseas training on Friday as his team prepare for the visit of Arsenal

Ready to go: Ferguson overseas training on Friday as his team prepare for the visit of Arsenal

Arsenal overturned a 4-0 deficit to beat Reading 7-5 and progress to the quarter-finals, while United were undone 5-4 at Chelsea despite leading 3-2 in the final minute of normal time.

Ferguson said: 'You have to give amazing credit to Arsenal. It has been an amazing turnaround.

'It was one of those crazy games – 12 goals in that game and nine in ours the next night.

'Twenty-one goals in those two League Cup games. Capital One, the sponsors, will be rubbing their hands.

'It's probably the best night they're ever going to get. A great advert for the cup.'

Ferguson made 10 changes for what was a second match against Chelsea in the space of three days but, despite it not being top priority, he was still bothered by the loss and his porous defence.

He said: 'It was frustrating. I think the laws of the game have changed, the linesman giving offside against Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) in his own half.

'That's a new one, and they scored from that. But football's football.

'The one thing that came out of it was it was a fantastic game of football.

'Nine goals – we are now in a situation where we need to score six goals to win games!'

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal fans driven by fear

Arsenal fans driven by fear, claims Wenger after AGM grilling

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UPDATED:

10:49 GMT, 26 October 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger can understand the 'fear' of Arsenal fans, but called for a sense of perspective as he looks to get their Barclays Premier League campaign back on track with victory over bottom club QPR on Saturday.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis, chairman Peter Hill-Wood and majority shareholder Stan Kroenke were all heckled at the club's annual general meeting over Arsenal's financial strategy, in the wake of the 24million sale of captain Robin van Persie to rivals Manchester United and failure to win silverware since the FA Cup in 2005.

Heated atmosphere: Wenger came under fire in Thursday's AGM

Heated atmosphere: Wenger came under fire in Thursday's AGM

Wenger used his address to calm an increasingly heated atmosphere, later expanding on his comments during a media conference that qualification for Europe's elite competition ranked third in his list of 'five trophies' behind the Barclays Premier League and Champions League.

'There were concerns, of course, and there is no better moment than the AGM to express it,' Wenger said.

'It is sometimes emotional. I think as well, it's a lot guided by fear.

'Our fans fear that we will not be capable to compete financially to keep our best players and you know that subject – and you knew that would turn up, that is nothing new.'

At an otherwise heated AGM, Wenger received a warm reception after his address which opened with an apology for the recent defeats against Norwich last weekend and Schalke on Wednesday night.

Off the boil: Arsenal were soundly beaten by Schalke on Wednesday night

Off the boil: Arsenal were soundly beaten by Schalke on Wednesday night

'We understand that you do not always agree with what we do,' he said, 'but [it is] still very important that we keep strength and that we keep united for the same thing – the good of Arsenal.

'First of course, we want to win the Premier League and that's why we are here and that's what we want to fight for.'

Gazidis, meanwhile, claimed Arsenal would be able to compete with the world's biggest and best clubs as UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations become more rigorously enforced.

Kroenke also felt the frustrations of supporters when asked whether dividends were to be paid to shareholders and then challenged directly by members of the Arsenal Supporters Trust for more meetings, a pledge from his 650million takeover in April 2011.

There were also questions on how the board were working with second-largest shareholders Red & White Holdings, backed by Usbek oligarch Alisher Usmanov, and issues raised over ticket prices and the cost of food at Emirates Stadium.

After what has been a testing spell after international break, Wenger will be hoping his players can provide the needed rally against QPR.

The Arsenal manager, who served out a three-game European touchline ban on Wednesday night, said: 'We cannot complain over the defeat. We faced Schalke and on the day [they] deserved it a fraction more.

'The regret we have is [we] could have played a 0-0. A point would have been good considering our performance.

'But we are still in a strong position in the Champions League, what is important for us now is to bounce back and have a good result in the Premier League.'

Arsenal could have full-back Bacary Sagna in the squad again following his recovery from a broken leg, while England midfielder Jack Wilshere may be included.