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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Birmingham 2 - Manchester United 2

Manchester United’s deadly attack line succed in the victory over Birmingham. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney both scored at St Andrew’s on Wednesday evening. However, that wasn’t enough because Jamie Clapham and Walter Pandiani, of the local team, also saw their names listed on the scoresheet.

It was a amazing performance from Steve Bruce’s side who pushed Manchester United all the way in what was a richly entertaining ninety-minutes of football.

Dutch striker Van Nistelrooy scored the lead only to see Clapham equalise for Birmingham before half-time. Rooney restored United’s lead but uruguayan Pandiani levelled again with thirteen minutes remaining.

The final score meant that the gap between Chelsea FC and United at the top of the table had been stretched to eleven points because Chelsea had beaten Manchester City 1-0 at Eastlands.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returned after more than 18 months on the sidelines with a knee injury. He made a sixteen-minute appearance after replacing Ronaldo.

Manchester United’s line-up showed three new players from the side which put three goals past West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Boxing Day. Wes Brown, Ryan Giggs and Ji-sung Park were the players missing from that victory. Kieran Richardson, Alan Smith and Cristiano Ronaldo were named as the replacements for this Premiership fixture against Steve Bruce’s relegation-haunted side.

United fought hard in order to get a victory, but Birmingham had displayed some of their manager’s fighting spirit to snatch what could prove to be a valuable point.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Heinze may not fit for World Cup

Sir Alex Ferguson thinks that Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze may not be fit for next summer's World Cup finals in Germany.

The player has been out of action since September after rupturing cruciate ligaments and is not expected to be back before the end of the current season.

Ferguson said: "I would have thought it's really unlikely he'll play before the end of this season. I can't see that happening. I know he wants to play in the World Cup, as any player would, but I don't think he'll be available until next season."

Meanwhile, Quinton Fortune is down because of a knee injury and is no nearer to a first team comeback.

The South African has not played for Manchester United this season after damaging his knee during pre-season and he looks set to be more time on the sidelines.

"He's exactly the same as he was," revealed Fergie. "It's not cleared up at all and it doesn't look as if it's going to be an early one either - it's going to be lengthy."