Posted by Barrie on Thursday, 23 April 2009

The week the title shifted closer to Old Trafford

Despite being knocked out of the FA Cup on penalties at the weekend, and the public and media still slating Dimitar Berbatov's arrogant penalty, and even criticising him as a player, Manchester United got one step closer to defending their Premier League trophy this week.

Tuesday night saw Arsenal (and Andrei Arshavin in particular!) hand Liverpool a big title blow in one of the most enjoyable games this season when they played out a 4-4 draw at Anfield.

Manchester United followed this up last night (Wednesday) with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Portsmouth at Old Trafford to send them 3 points clear of Liverpool and 6 of Chelsea, with a game in hand over both. Guus Hiddink has finally conceded Chelsea's title bid, but he has an FA Cup final and Champions League semi to look forward to.

I was at Old Trafford on Wednesday night with 2 friends. Whilst Manchester United fans have received a lot of stick over the years for the ground being quiet, I have to admit they were very good, making much more noise than they did at Pride Park last season! They had chants for half their team, including Anderson, Paul Scholes (who made his 600th appearance) and the classic "Ryan Giggs running down the wing". Portsmouth were good too it must be said, but they did bring their annoying bell ringer with them.

Portsmouth never threatened United, even without Rio Ferdinand, and whilst Peter Crouch done a good job holding up the ball and laying it off, nothing was coming off from it. United themselves got around the Portsmouth box alot, but didn't create many chances themselves after Wayne Rooney slotted in for an early lead.

Manchester United's next fixture is at home to Tottenham on Saturday which could prove to be a tough one with the form Spurs are in, and a 12.30 kickoff at Middlesbrough inbetween their Champions League semi finals has potential to cause problems. But I expect United to come through these two games still in control of their own destiny.

I've found odds of 1/6 on Betfair for Manchester United to be this year's Premier League champions; they're the best odds you're going to find now after Liverpool's slip up, but I'm hoping you put enough on them winning at the beginning of the season like I did to not need to worry about it (although that could be 16.67% investment, if you want to put your savings on it - better than any banks are giving at the moment ;) ).


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At 23 April 2009 at 18:04 , Anonymous steve said...

tis over now


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