The new Premier League season is not too far away now, so we have set up our own Fantasy Premier League which you are free to join. To join our private league, just follow these very easy steps:
1. Register your team or login to the Fantasy Premier League site http://fantasy.premierleague.com.
2. Think of a team name once registered and design your very own team strip. Create your team (2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders and 3 strikers). You can select up to 3 players from any one team. The total value of your initial squad must not exceed £100 million as every player has a certain value.
3. Then click on the ‘League’ tab on the left navigation column. Then click the ‘Join A League’ tab and type in the code 440896-101914 to join the League.
4. You will now become a member of our private league. If you’re stuck on anything, use this for help.
5. Your overall score is ranked against all other players in the league, including our team. All that is left to say is good luck!
Hangzhou Greentown 2-8 Manchester United
It may have been an exhibition match but it was truly a magical performance, as Ryan Giggs scored his first ever hat trick but even more encouragingly, forwards Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen combined to make a devastating partnership up front which effectively ended the game for the hosts within the first forty minutes.
Berbatov, in particular, was in top form as he created three assists and scored a goal which underlined United’s dominance, and Owen continued to find the back of the net, with the first of his brace coming in the 24th minute when he tapped in a low Nani cross.
Berbatov volleyed in from close range with Nani once again supplying the cross before Tosic then picked up a ball from Berbatov and the Serbian lashed home to make the score 3-0.
Then with forty minutes on the clock, the Chinese support witnessed something magical. A clever flick by Berbatov was chested down and then volleyed home by Michael Owen. It was a sublime goal and hopefully a sign of things to come between the duo. You can watch the goal here.
After the break, Nani got in on the action after converting a Berbatov backheel. Then, on the hour, Ryan Giggs was brought on and scored twice in the space of 10 minutes before Wang Hongyou headed home a mere consolation goal to make it 1-7.
Patrice Evra was denied by the post, and Anderson then followed with an effort that hit the crossbar. He then provided the pass which set up Ryan Giggs as he had scored the easiest of goals to earn his hat trick.
Erivaldo Valdo smashed a late second for Hangzhou but at the end of the day, the Premier League champions werehappy to see the impressive partnership between Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov and Ryan Giggs’ hat trick which showed, despite being 35, he still has a lot to offer the club.
To see all the goals, click here.
City may have dominated the back pages over the summer with their transfer exploits but Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t see United’s neighbours mounting a serious title challenge next season.
He told the BBC: “It won’t be easy for them to win anything, even with the players they have bought.
“I can’t look at them as our main competitors. Liverpool and Chelsea are our main competitors.”
The bookies seem to agree with the United boss, City are currently fifth favourites with the Premier League betting odds and Arsenal, even without Emmanuel Adebayor, are available at shorter odds. At the moment you have to agree with Sir Alex, they may have spent a lot of money but it has all been on strikers, with the exception of Gareth Barry, and the Scottish boss is as intrigued as anyone as to how Mark Hughes will pick his City side.
He added: “They have bought a lot of high-profile players but they have 10 strikers,that is a hell of a lot. I have not spoken to all the managers but the one or two I have are saying ‘Who are they going to leave out?’
“How does he pick a team? We are all interested.”
The Manchester derby will be a fantastic occasion next season. Not only do City see themselves as title contenders but there will also be the Carlos Tevez factor. Ferguson has said Tevez wasn’t worth £25million and to be honest this is the only point I disagree with him on, if Ronaldo is worth £80m surely Tevez is worth £25m? Whether he was worth the transfer fee or not he will up his game when he plays United and will probably score, after watching him for two years at Old Trafford we all know he is capable of it anyway.
City may have spent much more than United but the arrivals of Barry, Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz, Adebayor and whoever else they sign still won’t make them a better team than United. It may take a month or two for the side to gel and that could be crucial, for their hopes of Champions League qualification let alone the title. I wouldn’t go betting against them breaking the top-four, they certainly have the capability and firepower to do that, but I severely doubt they’ll seriously challenge for the title.
In the meantime, the guys at Studs Up have created another ingenious cartoon strip. Enjoy!
The answer no doubt on most people’s minds when they look at the title of this article is simply ‘I hope so’. The Bulgarian came under a lot of criticism in his first year at Old Trafford as he only scored 14 times in a red shirt.
Despite that statistic though, Berbatov did have 10 assists to his name, with only Robin van Persie to better him with 11, showing that the striker has much more to him than just scoring goals.
With the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo, who many suggest is irreplaceable, and Carlos Tevez it may mean that those departures have opened the door for him to take a bigger role. A more traditional 4-4-2 may be deployed, with Berbatov likely to play behind Rooney. That partnership will be even more crucial this time around, as both of these strikers, and indeed Michael Owen, will have to do their best to fill the gap that Ronaldo will leave.
“I think I can do better this season,” he told MUTV. “I think I can do more. That’s why I am happy to be on the pre-season tour. It is always beneficial to start well and have a good pre-season and I feel I am training well at the moment. I am here to score goals and I hope to score more and more for United this season.”
So far, he hasn’t scored a pre season goal but can make all of that right come Friday, when Manchester United take on FC Seoul. Berbatov will be under even more pressure in this campaign and will be under the spotlight throughout the season. Let’s hope he can prove his critics wrong…
Malaysia XI 2-3 Manchester United
A 100,000 capacity saw Manchester United do the expected but some goalkeeping errors turned what looked like a comprehensive victory into a game that was only minutes away from a draw.
Even though this match was scheduled some time back, when Ronaldo was still a United player, they did at least get to see the new no.7 Michael Owen get his name on the scoresheet. In fact, Owen’s goal turned out to be a late 85th minute winner in what was a very entertaining game.
There were no surprises in the first half hour. Manchester United applying pressure on the opposition and always looked likely to make early inroads. Dimitar Berbatov, in particular, looked most threatening withing the first 10 minutes. He first had a rasping volley saved, followed by a Wayne Rooney effort before once again Berbatov tested ‘keeper Mohammed Farizal Marlias.
But it was Rooney who got the opener in the 9th minute. After a scrappy leading into the goal, the striker latched on to a parry from the goalkeeper and he buried it from close range.
He then turned provider, with an exquisite through ball to Nani, who made no mistakes with the finish. Before the second goal, Malaysia’s Amri Yahyah tested Van der Sar and here was a man who you could tell was going to be a threat.
Of course that was the case. After Scholes and Berbatov had great chances to extend the visitors lead, Yahyah capatalised on an Patrice Evra mistake on the stroke of half time, with a volley which caught a backtracking Van der Sar off his line, much to the delight of the fans inside the Bukit Jalil Stadium.
The home side started to improve after the break, another Patrice Evra blunder which Mohamad Aidil Zafuan going close with an effort from range. United still continued to create chances, Wayne Rooney with a lob which missed the target by inches.
But talisman Yahyah once again scored courtesy of a howler from second half sub Ben Foster. Failing to control a simple back pass, Foster allowed Yahyah to get ahead of him and score and suddenly the game was on level terms. This sent the fans into raptures.
Again Wayne Rooney had a goalscoring chance. After a good cross from Nani, a snapshot from the England international went over the bar. He was then substituted for Michael Owen, the new addition into the Red devils side.
After a through ball from Darron Gibson was cut off from Marlias, the ball rolled to the edge of the box, into the path of Owen, who calmly slotted home the winner.
Manchester United: Van der Sar (Foster) – O’Shea, Ferdinand (Brown), Evans, Evra (Fabio) – Scholes (Tosic), Anderson (Giggs), Gibson, Nani – Rooney (Macheda), Berbatov (Owen)
EDIT: Manchester United will play a rematch with a Malaysia XI on Monday, the same day when they were due to play in Jakarta, Indonesia, but due to the terrorist’s attacks that game could not go ahead. They also ruled out a possible trip to Australia to play a game.
It’s not often that you’ll find much reason to laugh on this blog, but today you’re in for a treat! Thanks to Youtube videos and comic strips created by the ingenious guys at Studs Up, today we start our first ever Comedy Archive post with new signing Michael Owen who was seen taking part in his first training session since joining Manchester United. So now it’s time for you to watch a couple of Michael Owen video’s and look at a few comic strips which are sure to make you laugh. So enjoy!
First up is a video created by TalkSport magazine, showing Michael Owen getting grilled by the five dragons in hit BBC2 show Dragons Den. Click here to watch.
Next is another video showing a young - but very cocky – Owen, with a young aspiring goalkeeper. Former ‘keeper Neville Southall isn’t so pleased…”Well done, he’s 13.” Click here to watch it.
The people at Studs Up make not one but two comic strips on our new signing. First one, very difficult to describe. Remember that infamous snap of a hot-pants clad Ronaldo which he wore on holiday…explanation? See it here. Secondly is what they believe is the actual story behind the transfer…very funny! Read it here.
And to wrap it up, two more comics. Remember Macheda’s wonder goal against Aston Villa? Can this explain it? Click here. And finally, last but no means least a Wayne Rooney comic. This one, in particular is our favourite. Click here to read.