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RED sky at night UNITED delight!

Date: Wed Apr 08 07:40:36 GMT+01:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

Warming up for Liverpool Friday! Live on Sky Europe!
Todays Pic:  Palli come back, against Blackburn!

Barry your editor.
This Issue:
1. Times Report Blackburn 1 ManU 3
3. Becks -- Jekyll & Hyde (D.Mail)
4. Ince says Scousers can win title - HAHAHAHA
5. Times Article: Oliver Holt believes....


Subject: Times Report Blackburn 1 ManU 3

April 7 1998 FOOTBALL

Ferguson's side confirm title pedigree at Ewood Park

Happy returns for United

Blackburn Rovers ...1 Manchester United ...3

A LOCAL paper had labelled the quartet of returning players "The Crunch
Bunch". Another was saying that the restoration of "The Famous Four" would
stop Manchester United's championship jitters turning into a fully fledged
case of the shakes. Sure enough, just when the title seemed to be ebbing
further away from them in the fraught surroundings of Ewood Park last night,
The Crunch Bunch came through.

As Arsène Wenger and his Arsenal team gathered around their television sets
and rubbed their hands in expectation of another United stumble in the
struggle for FA Carling Premiership dominance, a United team restored to
something like full strength fought back from a goal down to surge past
Blackburn Rovers.

United are now six points clear at the top and although Arsenal have three
games in hand, the way that United celebrated this victory suggested that
its cathartic value, its capacity to steady shredded nerves and steal back
momentum that had slipped away to North London, may mean it was the latest
of many turning-points in the battle at the top this season.

The Crunch Bunch - Schmeichel, Pallister, Butt and Giggs - all absent during
much of the recent period of United's travails, gave performances that
suggested United will be hard for Arsenal to overhaul now that they are
fully fit. In this mood, United will beat Liverpool on Good Friday and make
the hill even steeper for Arsenal to climb.

After they had been thoroughly outplayed in the first half and had
deservedly gone behind to a penalty from the excellent Sutton, United hit
back after the interval with a fine goal from Cole. Scholes put them ahead
with a strike that owed something to fortune, but United finished things off
in style in the last minute when Giggs freed Beckham, who slid his shot past

Alex Ferguson, the United manager, had betrayed his own view of the
importance of the match in the second half, leaping off the bench to
remonstrate with referee and linesman after the tackles and the elbows had
started to fly in. Afterwards, he admitted that defeat would have given
Arsenal a significant advantage in the run-in.

"I have been replaying the last two years in my mind," Ferguson said, "and I
cannot recall us ever being given the kind of doing that Blackburn gave us
in the first half. We were out-thought, outfought, outrun and outplayed. We
just had to try to impose ourselves on the game a little bit, at least do

"Let's be honest about it: if we had lost tonight, it would have given
Arsenal a massive boost. We have had a warning about our performance level
here. I would expect us to play far better against Liverpool on Friday.
Giggs has come through with no problem at all and that will have done him
good. It was a really gritty performance and we are going to need that now.
I just pray that Blackburn can play like they did in the first half against
Arsenal next week. They should bottle that."

Ferguson had sprung a surprise before the game by deciding not to restore
Sheringham to the starting line-up after his one-match suspension. Solskjaer
began in attack with Cole but, in the first half, they hardly got a kick.
Blackburn, with Sutton and Gallacher outstanding in attack and McKinlay
dominant in midfield, were in control.

Schmeichel was in uncharacteristically uncertain form, dropping crosses here
and free kicks there, but he escaped unpunished. So did United until, after
31 minutes, Duff escaped from the shackles that Gary Neville had clamped on
him and burst into the area. Neville appeared to push him to the ground, the
referee awarded a penalty and Sutton dispatched it low past Schmeichel.

In the second half, though, Ferguson brought on Butt for Solskjaer and
pushed Scholes into a more advanced position, and United were a different
team. Giggs hit his stride, Cole's runs carried more conviction and Butt
held everything together as passions began to run high.

Nine minutes after the interval, Gary Neville almost made amends for
conceding the penalty when he forced his way in front of Wilcox in
Blackburn's six-yard box and found himself with a clear shooting chance. The
ball did not fall kindly for him, though, and he could only direct his shot
weakly at Fettis.

A minute later, however, United equalised. Beckham played a cushioned chip
down the right wing into the path of Cole, who cut inside Henchoz as if he
was not there and sent a scything, left-foot shot skimming across the grass,
across Fettis and into the bottom corner of the goal.

Ferguson came storming on to the touchline to protest at a linesman who was
flagging for a foul by Beckham on Wilcox and had to be restrained by the
fourth official, Uriah Rennie. Ferguson soon forgot his anger, though, when
Gary Neville intercepted a pass by Wilcox and fed the ball to Beckham. His
curling cross hit the on-rushing Scholes on the thigh and, with Fettis
wrong-footed, the ball rolled slowly into the net.

Schmeichel showed his true worth in the dying minutes, first saving Hendry's
powerful header from a corner and then blocking Kenna's close-range shot
with his legs. Beckham wrapped it up with his cool finish after Giggs's
incisive through-ball had ripped open the tiring Blackburn defence. The
Crunch Bunch had done their job.

BLACKBURN ROVERS (4-4-2): A Fettis - J Kenna, C Hendry, S Henchoz, J
Wilcox - G Flitcroft, W McKinlay, T Sherwood, D Duff - K Gallacher, C

MANCHESTER UNITED (4-4-2): P Schmeichel - G Neville, R Johnsen, G Pallister,
D Irwin - D Beckham, P Neville, P Scholes, R Giggs - O G Solskjaer (sub: N
Butt, 46min), A Cole.

Referee: G Ashby.

From: Helgi Adalsteinsson 

Subject:      UNITED TO WIN THE PREMIERSHIP (Sporting Life)

X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by eris.web-plus.dk id WAA01981

Hi fellows
Sporting-life has predicted that MAN UTD will win the League, as if that´s
something new ;)  Have a look.

By PA Sports Staff

Manchester United

Apr 10: Liverpool H (United to win 2-1) - United's fiercest rivals will be
desperate to beat them, but Liverpool have not won at Old Trafford since
March 1990.

Apr 18: Newcastle H (United to win 2-0) - Newcastle need the points to
guarantee Premiership safety, but it's hard to see them stopping United at
Old Trafford.

Apr 27: Crystal Palace A (United to win 3-1) - an away banker if ever there
was one against the relegation-haunted Eagles.

May 4: Leeds H (1-1 draw) - yet another tough home game against a Leeds
side, who can be brilliant one game and terrible the next.

May 10: Barnsley A (United win 2-1) - United have already lost at Oakwell
in the FA Cup, but don't expect a similar result if they need a victory to
win the title.


Apr 11: Newcastle H (Arsenal to win 1-0) - a dress rehearsal of the FA Cup
final and what should be another three points for the Gunners.

Apr 13: Blackburn A (2-2 draw) - Rovers won at Highbury in December and are
good enough to take a point in the return at Ewood Park.

Apr 18: Wimbledon H (Arsenal to win 2-0) - On paper, one of Arsenal's
easier games and one they should win.

Apr 25: Barnsley A (1-1 draw) - Barnsley are no longer the pushovers
Arsenal beat 5-0 in October and they will be fighting for their Premiership

Apr 29: Derby H (Arsenal to win 1-0) - Derby have proved a stern test for
Arsenal in recent matches, but the Gunners should win through.

May 3: Everton H (Arsenal to win 2-1) - Everton will be desperate to take
anything from this game, but should leave with nothing.

May 6: Liverpool A (1-1 draw) - Arsenal have a terrible recent record
against Liverpool and may well have to settle for a draw.

May 10: Aston Villa A (1-1 draw) - Not the easiest of places to go on the
final day, and Villa could well take a point.


Man Utd, 79pts (Champions)
Arsenal, 76pts

© PA Sporting Life 

Greetings from Iceman in Denmark

Helgi Adalsteinsson

Aalborg University    

Subject: Becks -- Jekyll & Hyde (D.Mail)

Fire of Fergie as United beat Blackburn 3-1

Tuesday, April 7, 1998

If Manchester United go on from this result to retain their title, it will
be remembered as the half-time team talk which saved a championship.

Limping in at the break after playing like virtual strangers for 45 minutes
Manchester United came out to cosh Blackburn Rovers, scoring three times and
sending a shiver down the spine of the watching Arsenal players.

David Beckham was the man who typified their raw fighting spirit as he
attempted, by fair means and sometimes foul, to trample all over his
tormentors. The United No.7 scored one and made the other two, all the while
playing as if he believed that anyone not wearing a red shirt was an enemy.

Watching it was bewitching and distasteful in almost equal measures but
there can be no doubt that Beckham has two things upon which United
flourish, a hatred of losing and genuine footballing class.

The game was balanced at 1-1 with 25 minutes to go when Dr Jekyll became Mr
Hyde for a few minutes and after the dust had settled the champions were 2-1
up and there was no way back for Rovers.

United will deny that his aggression is a tactic like John McEnroe's
tantrums, calculated to upset the concentration of opponents. But there can
be no doubt that it takes a strong team to mix it with these boys and come
out on top.

Nicky Butt and Gary Neville had combined to send Beckham off on another of
his blistering runs down the right when the slightest of touches from Jason
Wilcox's flailing hand send him tumbling to the turf.

There was no play-acting but the contact was accidental and did not deserve
the furore which ensued.

Beckham got up with an attitude, the one which manager Alex Ferguson had
demanded at half-time. Having got even, United now got mad.

Seconds later Wilcox received the ball on the touchline and Beckham put in a
thumping challenge for which he was immediately penalised.

The United substitutes, led by David May, surrounded the linesman and
Ferguson unleashed heated outbursts at the linesman and the referee.

Suddenly the game threatened to boil over. The United players did not lose
their concentration, however, and a few minutes later the match was won.

Neville dispossessed Damien Duff at high speed and sent Beckham down the
right once again. He looked up once, struck the ball with a swerve and the
cross bounced in front of Colin Hendry.

Paul Scholes was running in immediately behind him and as the ball hit his
left thigh it went into one side of the goal when Alan Fettis was diving the
other way.

The importance of Beckham's performance was that he had been playing his
normal game in the first half when United were given what Ferguson called 'a

Against a blue and white tide which made some of his team-mates look fragile
and others look ring-rusty, Beckham kept on pumping in his right footed
crosses and passes.

His defiance was like the last stand of champions who had won only two
matches in the last eight since Ryan Giggs limped off with a hamstring
injury against Derby in February.

Stung by their humiliating 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford four months ago, for
long spells last night Rovers looked as if they would get revenge. Although
Giggs, Gary Pallister and Peter Schmeichel were all returning after injury,
it was the goalkeeper who got the jitters first, spilling a shot and a free
kick from Jeff Kenna and a corner from Duff.

A Blackburn goal was inevitable and Gary Neville lost concentration long
enough to haul Duff down in the box as the Irishman surged past him.

Chris Sutton, sent off in a bad-tempered display in that Old Trafford
drubbing, thumped the penalty gleefully past Schmeichel to put Rovers ahead
in the 32nd minute.

It really does not matter what kind of Caledonian curses Ferguson used in
the dressing room. His cold, hard stare would have said as much as his words

The important point was that enough of these young men, led by Beckham,
realised the debt they owed Ferguson, the value of those multi-million-pound
contract extensions they have just signed and the need to play without
letting themselves down.

Andy Cole scored a superb equaliser nine minutes into the second half when
Beckham sent him away and the striker rediscovered all that lost edge when
he cut inside Stephane Henchoz and smashed a left-foot shot into the far
corner of the net.

It was a gem of a goal and afterwards Ferguson correctly identified it as
his team's most important moment.

When it came to it, United found they had unearthed their killer instinct as
well as their will to battle and in the final moment Giggs put through a
sensational pass to Beckham, who capped a Man of the Match night by scoring
with ease.

The hard truth is that it may not be enough as Arsenal have three games in
hand and only a six-point gap to close.

But without this win it would have been over and for that United can thank
whatever home truths were told at half-time and another of David Beckham's
Jekyll and Hyde performances.

Date:         Tue, 7 Apr 1998 15:06:09 -0700

From: David Menashe 

Subject:      Ince says Scousers can win title - HAHAHAHA


England midfielder Paul Ince believes Liverpool have once last chance to
revive their flagging season.

It will come on Friday when Ince makes his competitive return to Old
Trafford against former club Manchester United.

He accepts defeat there would finally extinguish Liverpool's lingering
hopes of making a late run for the premier league title.

Liverpool lie third in the table, 12 points adrift of United, after another
season of under-achievement.

But Ince said on Tuesday: "We've got two games in hand and there's no-one
at Anfield who thinks it's all over.

"We still believe the title is between three clubs -- United, Arsenal and
ourselves. The people who are saying it's a two-horse race are exactly the
same people who thought United had it won a couple of months ago

"It's a huge game for us on Friday, possibly more than United. Liverpool
have suffered at United's hands recently but there's no reason why we can't
go there and win. Player for player we can match them.

"We've got to win all our games to stand any chance of making up the
difference at the top. So if we lose to United we may as well forget it."

Ince was at Old Trafford for four years before moving to Inter Milan in
1994. He spent two seasons at the San Siro before returning to the English
game with Liverpool last summer.


Ince,  you sound such a plonker. You have as much chance of winning the
title as City have of winning the World Cup and FA Cup double. As my mate
always says, there 2 kinds of hope - Bob Hope and No Hope. Liverpool belong
to the latter group.

Subject:      Times Article: Oliver Holt believes....
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by eris.web-plus.dk id EAA08260

Oliver Holt believes Alex Ferguson's team remain favourites for the

AFTER all the disappointments, the crushing exit from the European Cup and
the faltering form in the FA Carling Premiership, a morbid sense of
curiosity floated around Ewood Park as Manchester United prepared for their
return to action there on Monday night.

Their tepid victory over Wimbledon eight days earlier had done little to
dispel the feeling harboured by many that Arsenal were the more vigorous of
the two championship aspirants. It seemed as though all eyes were on them
in Blackburn, boring into them for signs of weakness. The critics had come
to bury them, not to praise them.

But, after an uncertain first half, United provided another twist to a
season that is suddenly bulging with excitement. Until three or four weeks
ago, there had seemed only one outcome: that United would waltz away with
the title. Then, until Monday night, it seemed that they were intent on
throwing it away instead. Now the battle is well and truly joined.

Their 3-1 win over Roy Hodgson's team, courtesy of goals from Cole, Scholes
and Beckham, re-established them as clear title favourites and opened up a
gap of six points over Arsenal that will become nine if United beat
Liverpool, the old enemy, at Old Trafford on Good Friday. Even with four
games in hand, that will be hard for Arsenal to claw back.

It is now, now that the phoney war has been left behind, that the
pragmatism for which Alex Ferguson has been so roundly castigated all
season should come into its own. Suddenly, beginning on Saturday, Arsenal
will find the matches hurled at them at a bewildering pace. Newcastle
United and Blackburn Rovers will have to be negotiated in the space of
three Easter days.

United, who left the domestic cup competitions behind long ago, may not
only have more energy in their younger legs, but they will also have the
luxury of longer recovery periods between games. Nor do they have the
problem of ever-mounting suspensions that still haunts their North London

Add to that the fact that United have now welcomed back a host of their
leading players, who are desperate to try to banish the frustration of
having been absent for the matches against AS Monaco that dashed their
hopes of progressing to the European Cup semi-finals. The return of
Schmeichel, Giggs, Butt, Pallister and Scholes may give United the ability
to move up a gear. Their experience of playing under the crushing pressure
of this sort of denouement is also bound to be an advantage.

In contrast, it is hard to see where any future Arsenal improvement can
come from. They are in marvellous form already, their confidence growing
with successive victories, but the kind of fillip that would have been
brought by the availability of Ian Wright looks set to be denied them by
his tortuous return from injury. The smooth rhythm that they have achieved
will also be disrupted by the forthcoming suspensions of Martin Keown and
Ray Parlour.

The teams are still neck and neck and, if United lose to Liverpool, the
race will take on a different complexion once more - but the more points
that United accrue, the more the pressure builds on Arsène Wenger and his
polyglot side and the more even the slightest slip-up will seem catastrophic.

There may yet be twists and turns to come, but the United side that surged
past Blackburn looked like a team that had awakened, relieved, from a
tortured dream and had rushed to embrace reality. The race for the
championship will probably still go to the wire, but United have their
noses in front again now.

Ah, I feel really good right now -
Always enjoyed reading  Oliver Holt - He always had a soft spot for United

Keep The Faith -- barry@www.red11.org -- Red Til We're Dead
-------Manchester United for life not just for Christmas-------

     barry@www.red11.org   Webmaster: Barry Leeming
     Theatre Of Dreams: http://Manunited.netlane.com 
      " If ever they are playing in your town
	  You must get to that football ground
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	  They deserve to be knighted "

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