Tag Archives: rooney

Montenegro stick boot into England over long balls and weak defence

England are SCARED of us! You complain about the pitch when you play long ball. You should forget about our fans and worry about your 'weak' defence instead, blast Montenegro

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Passion: Montenegro fans react after the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011

Passion: Montenegro fans react after the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011

Meanwhile, the president of Montenegro’s football association has begged his own supporters to behave during England’s crunch World Cup qualifier tomorrow night.

Dejan Savicevic awarded Mirko Vucinic with the Montenegro Player of the Year award at Podgorica but took the opportunity to appeal for good behaviour from his own fans.

The Montenegro FA were fined 30,000 for a pitch invasion the last time England visited Montenegro.

He said: ‘I would like our journalists in Montenegro to appeal to our fans to cheer on the team in a sporting manner.

‘During
the last year and a half, our association has to pay penalties for up
to 90,000 Euros we had to bear for the behaviour of our supporters on
this ground.’

Vucinic
himself said he did not believe there would be any crowd trouble
tomorrow night, saying: ‘I expect a beautiful, wonderful atmosphere.

'Our
audience is great and they lift us and carry us on their wings like a
12th player. I am only sorry the stadium is not larger.’

Asked
whether Montenegro will try to play on Rooney’s temperament and wind
him up to get him sent off, Vucinic said: ‘It will not be our tactics to
make him lose his temper.

‘It
will be in our favour if he is given a red card but we will not be
doing anything to provoke him or make him lose his temper.’

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Doubts: Joleon Lescott (above) is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling (below)

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Vucinic added: ‘We feel well considering we played a difficult game in Moldova which we won with 10 men. This victory inspires us with self-confidence and hope against strong opponents like England who we are not scared of at all.

‘From the moment I run onto the field I think of victory. That is my way of thinking when I play in Italy and this is the way I think now. What I can say about tomorrow evening is that we keep fingers crossed for Montenegro to win but what we can say is that it will not be as big a thing as it will be if England fail.

'If England fail, it will cost them more. If I’m not wrong, they will be five points behind if they lose tomorrow.’

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.

New England Nike kit: "Leaked" image of rumoured away shirt

Is this the new England kit 'Leaked' image claims to be latest Three Lions' away strip…

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

13:59 GMT, 20 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:17 GMT, 20 March 2013

The new England kit will be launched next month but have fans already been treated to a first look at the away strip

A leaked image was posted on various internet sites, claiming that this red jersey will be worn by Roy Hodgson's men.

Sports manufacturing giants Nike are now in control of the Football Association kit sponsorship – including branding of the National Football Centre at St George’s Park – after replacing long-standing partners Umbro.

Is this the new England away kit This 'leaked' image claims to be the latest offering from sports giants Nike

Is this the new England away kit This 'leaked' image claims to be the latest offering from sports giants Nike

It is understood that Nike will officially unveil the new Three Lions' shirts on St George's Day, April 23.

The likes of Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and Ashley Cole can look forward to wearing the new white home kit on May 29 at Wembley against the Republic of Ireland, with the away number to be debuted in Rio this summer.

England play Brazil in June as part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations, which plays a prominent part in the rumoured away design with a gold FA badge crest embroidered on the chest.

The minimalistic all-red jersey – pictured above – apparently has a polo collar with buttons to complete a smart look, that appears to be inspired by England's historic 1966 World Cup success.

All smiles: Wayne Roney

Training day: England's Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson

Kit special: Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson – all Nike athletes – can look forward to the new strip

Nike, however, refused to confirm whether the 'leaked' image is the genuine article but admitted all will be revealed soon.

'Nike creates different design options and samples at different stages in the kit design process,' a spokesperson told Sportsmail.

'We will unveil the actual designs later this year and until then we cannot comment on images of England kit designs that are circulating on the web.'

England will play in the white Umbro home kit for the last time in the forthcoming World Cup 2014 qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro before switching to the Swoosh.

Farewell: England players will wear Umbro for their next two World Cup qualifying games for the last time

Farewell: England players will wear Umbro for their next two World Cup qualifying games for the last time

Players need to “stand up” says Lampard ahead of San Marino

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League One round-up: Oldham beat Hartlepool 3-0 in Lee Johnson"s first game in charge but Gary Johnson"s Yeovil lose 2-0 to Swindon

League One round-up: Johnson's Oldham era starts on a high… but his dad's promotion tilt with Yeovil suffers a blow

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

22:20 GMT, 19 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 19 March 2013

LEAGUE ONE RESULTS

Bury 2-0 Stevenage

Crewe 2-1 MK Dons

Oldham 3-0 Hartlepool

Yeovil 0-2 Swindon

New Oldham boss Lee Johnson marked the first match of his managerial career by taking the Latics out of the npower League One relegation zone with a 3-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Hartlepool on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old, the son of Yeovil boss Gary Johnson, is the youngest manager in the Football League following his appointment on Monday.

On the rise: Swindon beat Yeovil 2-0 to move into third place in the League One table

On the rise: Swindon beat Yeovil 2-0 to move into third place in the League One table

LEAGUE ONE TABLE

League One

And he saw his new side go in front
after 17 minutes through Robbie Simpson's header, with Jean Yves Mvoto
nodding home a second shortly before the half hour.

Jose Baxter finished the visitors off in the 69th minute. The win took Oldham a point above the drop zone.

Gary Johnson could not match his son's success, though, as his Yeovil side slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon.

Adam Rooney's 77th-minute penalty opened the scoring and James Collins made it two deep into stoppage time as the Robins moved to within a point of the top two, three ahead of their opponents.

Bury moved off the foot of the table, and sent Portsmouth bottom, as two late goals earned them a 2-0 win at home to Stevenage.

Steven Schumacher missed a 20th-minute penalty and it looked like that might be costly until Craig Jones broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute and Jonson Clarke-Harris made the points safe in the last minute.

Mathias Pogba scored twice as Crewe came from behind to beat MK Dons 2-1.

Patrick Bamford headed the Dons into a 31st-minute lead, but Pogba levelled nine minutes later and got the winner six minutes from time.

The Dons finished the match with 10 men thanks to Antony Kay's 86th-minute sending-off.

Home defeat: Gary Johnson's Yeovil were undone by second-half goals from Adam Rooney and James Collins

Home defeat: Gary Johnson's Yeovil were undone by second-half goals from Adam Rooney and James Collins

FA Cup semi-final draw 2013: Manchester City v Manchester United/Chelsea, Wigan v Millwall/Blackburn

FA Cup semi-final draw: City await winners of Chelsea and United replay in last four

PUBLISHED:

18:45 GMT, 10 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:34 GMT, 10 March 2013

FA CUP SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Millwall/Blackburn v Wigan

Manchester United/Chelsea v Manchester City

Ties to be played April 13/14

Manchester City will play either rivals Manchester United or fellow Barclays Premier League giants Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.

The draw, conducted at Wembley immediately after United's 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford, pitched the eventual winners of the replay against City.

Millwall and Blackburn also drew earlier in the day and will replay on Wednesday, with the winner to face Wigan.

The semi-finals will be played at Wembley over the weekend of April 13 and 14.

Comeback: Chelsea came from 2-0 down against Manchester United at Old Trafford to force a replay

Comeback: Chelsea came from 2-0 down against Manchester United at Old Trafford to force a replay

Crushing: Manchester City thrashed Barnsley 5-0 on Saturday evening to secure their spot in the semis

Crushing: Manchester City thrashed Barnsley 5-0 on Saturday evening to secure their spot in the semis

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez was given
the first chance to respond to the eye-catching draw, but was unwilling
to look any further ahead than his side's replay against United.

'We have to think about the first game
and, afterwards, think about City,' he told ITV. 'It will be tough,
will be difficult, United are a great side.'

Javier Hernandez and Wayne
Rooney gave United a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes at Old Trafford this
afternoon, but well-taken second-half goals from Eden Hazard and Ramires
earned Chelsea a replay.

City, in contrast, brushed off npower
Championship side Barnsley 5-0 yesterday as Carlos Tevez shrugged off
his latest off-field controversy to score a hat-trick and set up his
side's other two goals.

Wembley bound: Wigan will face either Millwall or Blackburn in the semis after beating Everton 3-0

Wembley bound: Wigan will face either Millwall or Blackburn in the semis after beating Everton 3-0

Wigan produced arguably the
performance of quarter-final weekend to beat Everton 3-0 yesterday with
goals from Maynor Figueroa, Callum McManaman and Jordi Gomez in less
than four minutes in the first half.

Millwall and Blackburn played out a
goalless draw at The Den, Andy Keogh hitting the post and Danny Shittu
stretching keeper Jake Kean with a 40-yard bolt from the blue as the
hosts created the better chances.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan described a
potential Wembley date with Blackburn as a 'dream' – and revealed he may
lead the team out himself.

Stalemate: Millwall and Blackburn will need a replay after a goalless draw at The Den on Sunday

Stalemate: Millwall and Blackburn will need a replay after a goalless draw at The Den on Sunday

As a player, Whelan played in the 1960
final for Rovers but saw his Wembley dream turn sour as a broken leg
forced him off before half-time.

'The dream is there,' he told Sky
Sports News. 'All Blackburn have got to do now is get through the replay
and my dream is on, I can go to Wembley and (we can) play against
Blackburn Rovers.

'When you've been to Wembley and got
what I got, a broken leg and Rovers went on to lose 3-0, it's very
upsetting. I feel I've got unfinished business at Wembley.

'Roberto's asked me to lead them out at Wembley and if we get Blackburn, I may just say yes.'

Holders: Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final last year and are on course for another trip to Wembley

Holders: Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final last year and are on course for another trip to Wembley

Glory: Manchester City won the FA Cup in 2011 when they beat Stoke 1-0 in the final

Glory: Manchester City won the FA Cup in 2011 when they beat Stoke 1-0 in the final

McManaman is one of a host of fringe
players to have excelled in the Latics' cup run and Whelan said: 'Roberto's played his young boys – one of them, McManaman, scored a
great goal yesterday – so it's done us good all round.

'The performance they put on at
Everton was stunning, in the first half we played Everton off the park
and should've been four up.'

The run to the last four contrasts
with Wigan's seemingly annual struggle for Premier League survival,
which the pragmatic Whelan admits has to remain their priority.

'We have to stay in the top flight,
that's number one,' he said. 'But the FA Cup is still a fantastic trophy
and we've never been to a final.

'To win the cup and stay in the
league, that's the dream isn't it And to get to the Europa League,
that's unthinkable for Wigan Athletic. It would be wonderful.'

Wayne Rooney will stay at Manchester United, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Rooney WILL stay! Ferguson insists star forward isn't leaving United after Real snub

Sir Alex Ferguson says Wayne Rooney will remain at Manchester United next season

Ferguson stands by decision to start Real Madrid clash with Rooney on the bench

United manager reveals he thought he'd get 'more stick' for leaving out Shinji Kagawa

Ferguson admits he had expressed concern to his staff about the appointment of referee Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir prior to Tuesday's defeat

PUBLISHED:

09:54 GMT, 8 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:19 GMT, 8 March 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Wayne Rooney will be at Manchester United next season.

The England international's future was thrown into doubt after Ferguson sensationally axed him for the visit of Real Madrid earlier this week.

But speaking ahead of United's FA Cup sixth-round showdown with Chelsea on Sunday, Ferguson says he has not plans to sell Rooney in the summer.

The right decision: Sir Alex Ferguson has stood by his call to leave Wayne Rooney on the bench for the visit of Madrid

The right decision: Sir Alex Ferguson has stood by his call to leave Wayne Rooney on the bench for the visit of Madrid

Benched: Wayne Rooney was unceremoniously axed for the visit of Real Madrid on Tuesday night

Benched: Wayne Rooney was unceremoniously axed for the visit of Real Madrid on Tuesday night

Wayne Rooney

'He'll be here next year,' Ferguson said. 'You can have my word on that.'

'The issue you're all going on about in the papers is absolute rubbish.

'There is absolutely no issue
between Wayne Rooney and I. To suggest we don't talk to each other on
the training ground is absolute nonsense.

'He understood the reasons for not
playing him and that was completely tactical. And I think I was right.
We don't always get it right but I think we did get it right.

All smiles: Wayne Rooney appeared in good spirits yesterday despite being omitted from United's startling line-up

All smiles: Wayne Rooney appeared in good spirits yesterday despite being omitted from United's startling line-up

'Danny Welbeck is the best player we
have in terms of operating in a double role. We had to choke Xabi
Alonso's ability to control the game, which Danny did, and that took
away Alonso's control of the game and his ability to go further forward
and be an attacking player.

'We don't always get it right but we definitely did on Tuesday.

'I left out Shinji Kagawa after he scored a hat-trick. I thought I would get more stick for that.'

Ferguson is still bitter about the
circumstances of Tuesday's defeat, in particular the dismissal of Nani,
on which the entire contest turned.

On the ball: Ferguson opted for Danny Welbeck ahead of Rooney for Tuesday night's tie

On the ball: Ferguson opted for Danny Welbeck ahead of Rooney for Tuesday night's tie

'It is hard to keep your faith when you have things like that,' added the Scot.

Ferguson refused to say whether Rooney would actually start on Sunday.

And he again repeated his belief that
the 27-year-old needed to play matches in order to retain full fitness,
an assessment that has raised so much debate over the past few days.

'Why should I help anyone by telling them my team We don't do that,' said Ferguson. 'But Wayne does need a lot of football. He has always been that type. That has always been the case.'

Ferguson was speaking for the first
time since United were dumped out of the Champions League with assistant
United boss claiming the Scot was 'too distressed' to engage with the
media.

'Mick was the right one to go out,' added Ferguson. 'He’s calm, he’s very good with the press and I’m going to use him more.

'That was a nice time to have a chat with Jose have a glass of wine and relax a bit.'

Ferguson said he had been concerned about the appointment of Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir prior to Tuesday's game.

Cakir has now sent off seven players from English teams, but never one against them.

'I was concerned. I said that to my staff,' he said. 'I had a big worry about it but it is gone now. There is nothing we can do about it.'

Nani

Sir Alex Ferguson

Dismissed: Sir Alex Ferguson was too 'distraught' to speak to the media after Nani was shown a red card

Barcelona"s New York transfer summit – Chelsea"s David Luiz top summer target

Revealed: Barcelona's New York transfer summit – Spanish giants want Chelsea's Luiz and Wembley flop Neymar (and that means Villa would be free to join Arsenal)

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 14 February 2013

Top Barcelona officials met in New York this week to thrash out the club's transfer strategy and one of their top targets is Chelsea defender David Luiz.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova, who is currently on sick leave, met with sporting director
Andoni Zubizarreta, technical secretary Albert Valentn and football co-ordinator Narcis Julia in the United States.

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Tito Vilanova

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

New York summit: Tito Vilanova (left) flew to America where plans were drawn up to sign Neymar (right)

Vilanova is
keen to strengthen his defence, despite club captain Carles Puyol only
recent signing a new deal at the Nou Camp and 25-year-old Luiz is seen as a long-term replacement, despite the Brazil centre half struggling for consistency at Stamford Bridge this season.

Luiz's fellow Brazilian Neymar, who was widely criticised for his insipid performance at Wembley against England, was also on his list, which would allow Arsenal target David Villa to leave.

If he does make the move in the summer
then Luiz could team up with a couple of former Premier League players
in Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Blues brother: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

According to Portuguese paper A Bola, Chelsea would be reluctant to sell one of their assets to their European rivals.

But they also suggest that if they were to let him go to Spain, then they would want to recoup a sizeable amount of the 21m transfer fee they forked out for him in 2011.

Chelsea are third in the Premier League and Luiz and his team-mates face a battle to secure Champions League football next season as they are only one point ahead of fellow London rivals Tottenham, with Arsenal an additional four points behind them.

Real Madrid 1 Manchester United 1: match report

Real Madrid 1 Man United 1: Ronaldo on target against old club after Welbeck opener but De Gea is the hero for Ferguson's side

PUBLISHED:

21:36 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 13 February 2013

Manchester United hold the advantage over Real Madrid in their two-legged Champions League showdown following a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Danny Welbeck handed the Barclays Premier League side the lead after heading home a Wayne Rooney corner with 20 minutes of the last-16 tie gone.

But Real Madrid were level only nine minutes later when Cristiano Ronaldo leapt above former United team-mate Patrice Evra to score a well-executed header.

Hang time: Cristiano Ronaldo scored against his former club with a well-executed header past David De Gea

Hang time: Cristiano Ronaldo scored against his former club with a well-executed header past David De Gea

Hang time: Cristiano Ronaldo scored against his former club with a well-executed header past David De Gea

Sir Alex Ferguson selected an attacking side, with Robin van Persie spearheading a front three of Rooney and Welbeck.

But after an even first half, the
away side found themselves on the back foot following the interval with
United goalkeeper David de Gea making a number of strong saves to keep
the tie level.

Hero: Manchester United stopper David de Gea turned in a fantastic display to keep the tie level

Hero: Manchester United stopper David de Gea turned in a fantastic display to keep the tie level

That said United had chances to win
the match. Van Persie hit the frame of the Real Madrid goal after 71
minutes before fluffing his lines with a mishit just moments later.

Ferguson will however, be the happier of the two managers ahead of the return leg at Old Trafford on March 5.

More follows…

Head boy: Danny Welbeck scored the opening goal of the game from a Wayne Rooney corner

Head boy: Danny Welbeck scored the opening goal of the game from a Wayne Rooney corner

Danny Welbeck

.

Making his point: Sir Alex Ferguson selected an attacking line-up to face the Spanish giants

Making his point: Sir Alex Ferguson selected an attacking line-up to face the Spanish giants

Tough to watch: Jose Mourinho cut an animated figure on the touchline during the last-16 clash

Tough to watch: Jose Mourinho cut an animated figure on the touchline during the last-16 clash

Battle: Robin van Persie holds off the challenge from Alvaro Arbeloa as Fabio Coentrao slides in on Wayne Rooney (below)

Battle: Robin van Persie holds off the challenge from Alvaro Arbeloa as Fabio Coentrao slides in on Wayne Rooney (below)

Battle: Robin van Persie holds off the challenge from Alvaro Arbeloa as Fabio Coentrao slides in on Wayne Rooney (below)

It had to be him: Ronaldo is mobbed by his Real Madrid team-mates after scoring for the hosts

It had to be him: Ronaldo is mobbed by his Real Madrid team-mates after scoring for the hosts

Rolling back the years: Real Madrid 3 Leeds 2; March 6, 2001

Danny Welbeck is the first Englishman to score for a Premier League side at the Bernabeu since Alan Smith in 2001.

Smith (below), playing for Leeds at the time, scored the opening goal of the game but the English team eventually lost the tie 3-2 following a brace from Raul and a solo strike by Luis Figo.

On target: Alan Smith

Real Madrid v Manchester United: Ruud van Nistelrooy says match will be decided by Cristiano Ronaldo or Robin van Persie

United v Real No, it's Ronaldo against Van Persie, insists legend Van Nistelrooy

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

16:57 GMT, 8 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 8 February 2013

Ruud van Nistelrooy believes the respective performances of Robin van Persie and Cristiano Ronaldo will be key to the outcome of the Champions League last-16 showdown between his former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Van Nistelrooy, who spent five years at United before moving to Madrid in 2006 for a four-year spell at the Bernabeu, finds it impossible to pick a favourite between the two European superpowers and believes the tie will be settled by the 'smallest details'.

To that end he has singled out United hitman Van Persie and Madrid's former Old Trafford forward Ronaldo as the deciding factors.

Star man: Cristiano Ronaldo

Deadly: Robin van Persie

Star men: Cristiano Ronaldo (left) or Robin van Persie could decide the Champions League tie

'For me the difference will be the form of Cristiano and Van Persie. I think that one of these two players will make the difference,' Van Nistelrooy told Marca.

'Both teams are doing very well. I think Madrid have improved a lot in recent weeks. Taking away the Granada game (1-0 loss) I see a strong team, who played very well against Barca and who show their best in the big games.

'I think the tie will be decided by the smallest details.'

Split loyalty Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2006

Split loyalty Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2006

Split loyalty Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2006

What about me Wayne Rooney, who scored for England this week, has found a run of form

What about me Wayne Rooney, who scored for England this week, has found a run of form

The 36-year-old Dutchman feels Madrid, who are looking for a record 10th European Cup crown, boast more quality than Sir Alex Ferguson's side but has warned the Spanish giants that United's 'lethal' strikeforce of Van Persie and Wayne Rooney will take some stopping.

'I think they (Madrid) have more quality on the pitch. But United win and win every week. They trail 2-0 and fight back, they go 1-0 up and control the game.

'United are very much a team. They defend all together and then play for Van Persie and Rooney.

'Madrid, due to injuries, have not been able to create such a solid group and be able to repeat the same team every week.

'Pepe and Marcelo have been injured, (Gonzalo) Higuain and (Karim) Benzema haven't been doing well, (Angel) Di Maria doesn't always play…The injury to Iker (Casillas) doesn't help either because he's always there and very experienced.

Clinical: Ronaldo has an incredible scoring record for Real Madrid, who he joined for 82million from Manchester United

Clinical: Ronaldo has an incredible scoring record for Real Madrid, who he joined for 82million from Manchester United

The difference: Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini believe the addition of Van Persie has propelled United to the top

The difference: Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini believe the addition of Van Persie has propelled United to the top

'It will be a very interesting game.'

Asked what Madrid need to fear, Van Nistelrooy said: 'United don't need many chances to score. Give one to Van Persie and Rooney and it's going in. They don't miss. And the problem is that they always create something.

'They are a lethal pair.'

The first leg takes place at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Returning hero: Ronaldo will play against his former club for the first time since leaving in 2009

Returning hero: Ronaldo will play against his former club for the first time since leaving in 2009

England 2 Brazil 1: Martin Keown verdict

Martin Keown: I'm convinced Hart and Cesar are the best keepers in England and Wilshere played like a Brazilian!

By
Martin Keown

PUBLISHED:

00:14 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:15 GMT, 7 February 2013

There was plenty of talk ahead of the game about the outfield players but it was hard to ignore the goalkeepers once the action started. I saw Joe Hart and Julio Cesar go head to head when Manchester City visited QPR recently and was hugely impressed.

Now I am convinced that they are the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Hart did really well to save Ronaldinho’s penalty and then reach the rebound before the Brazilian. Cesar’s stops to defy Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill were stunning.

The first reminded me of Gordon Banks keeping out Pele. Cesar showed his flexibility and Hart showed fantastic determination. They will be vital for their teams for the remainder of the season.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar

Joe Hart

Safe hands: Joe Hart and Julio Cesar proved themselves to be the best keepers in the Premier League

Glen kept Neymar in his pocket

Glen Johnson has looked nervy at times for England at Wembley in the past. Last night he looked more confident. He was good with and without the ball and kept Neymar quiet when confronted with him. On the opposite side, Ashley Cole looked a bit nervous as he won his 100th cap.

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Blue is the colour

Six Chelsea players were involved last night — David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar for Brazil, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for England. They have enough quality to suggest Rafael Benitez’s side should be performing a lot better.

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Well done, Frank

To go with some exciting young players,
England have some world-class experienced stalwarts. Frank Lampard’s
goal put him level with David Platt on 27. He’s only three shy of Tom
Finney, Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer on 30.

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Game of two halves for Gary

Gary Cahill was exceptional in the first half, sniffing out danger and accomplished on the ball. He looked far better than he has in a Chelsea shirt this season. But the centre back undid that good work by overplaying for the Brazilian equaliser. He wanted to show that English defenders can play. That should be encouraged but there are moments when you can be too adventurous.

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Jack's like a Brazilian

Jack Wilshere was the best player on the pitch. He looked so full of confidence and carried the game at times. Wilshere always wants to receive the ball, even if he’s under pressure and he is then technically gifted enough to use it in an intelligent way.

Since returning from injury, there was no doubting his ability but he is now fit enough to have the energy to match his technical prowess. The way he has come back from that lay-off to perform at such a level is impressive. We should cherish him.

Running the show: Jack Wilshere controlled the midfield on his first England start since 2011

Wilshere

Running the show: Jack Wilshere was the star of England's midfield as Brazil were overran