Ferguson challenges Rooney to deliver

Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged Striker Wayne Rooney to step up in game in terms goal scoring as he also admitted that time off is not good for him because of his ‘frame’.

According to Ferguson during an interview with Skysports “Wayne is going through a period like all strikers do, he is not scoring,”

“He has missed bits of games and been off with tonsillitis, and Wayne is the type of player who can’t miss games because of the frame he has got.”

Regarding the use of Rooney within the diamond formation, Ferguson added: “I am happy with that part of his game.

Rooney scored 34 goals in the 2009/10 season as a lone striker but has taken a back seat since the arrival of Van Persie from Arsenal in the summer.

Ferguson is impressed with the impact that the former Arsenal striker has made and said: “Without doubt Robin is an up-front player.

“He has experience and now our players are starting to realise how good he is. We are getting more aware of the runs he is making and the movement he has up front. Hopefully that understanding gets better.”

The Premier League leaders head to Reading today and the manager is not concerned that their previous fixtures have not been attacking classics.

“I don’t think the form has been that bad to be honest,” the Scot added. “But when you are manager of this club, you have to go through that analysis about Manchester United not being as good as they used to be.

“We are still top of the league so we must be doing something right.”

 

Rooney out for four weeks after injury blow

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be missing from the Red Devils’ line-up for the next four weeks with this news, he would also miss England’s Euro 2016 qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine at the beginning of next month suffering a deep cut to his right leg in the 3-2 win over Fulham on Saturday.

The information was revealed by Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson during a post-match press conference.

According to Alex Ferguson, the injury was a very bad one and Rooney will likely be out for four week, the player has been taken to the hospital.

Rooney will now miss also the start of United’s Champions League campaign.

Rooney strike sends United to top of the table

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney kept Manchester United on course for a record 20th title after hitting the winner in a 1-0 win over Fulham at Old Trafford on Monday.

Rooney’s 21st top-flight goal of the season, which arrived towards the end of the first half, proved enough to see off spirited mid-table opposition.

The result sent Sir Alex Ferguson’s side,who have won their last six league games, three points clear of neighbours Manchester City at the top of the table with eight games remaining.

It was far from vintage United, but with their next four games against teams in the bottom six, it is difficult to see where United are going to slip up.

Having destroyed struggling Wolves 5-0 in their last outing, United were hoping Fulham would prove equally obliging opponents with the league delicately poised.

The London visitors were looking to avoid a ninth straight Old Trafford defeat, while Fulham’s failure to score a goal at the venue in seven hours of action also filled United with belief they could use this fixture to improve their goal difference.

Fulham spent the opening exchanges penned inside their own half.

But this was a night for patience as United struggled to impose themselves until Rooney struck three minutes before the interval.

Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs headed an early chance straight at keeper Mark Schwarzer while Patrice Evra proved an unlikely goal threat in the 32nd minute with an overhead kick which flashed narrowly wide.

Rafael Da Silva spurned another chance when he shot straight at Schwarzer following good work by the impressive Antonio Valencia.

But the ruthless finishing which was so evident eight days earlier at Molineux was missing as Fulham created just as many chances as United before the interval.

Not for the first time this season, Clint Dempsey was his team’s main goal threat.

The United States international twice tested David De Gea in the space of a few minutes, his second effort a lovely attempted curler from the edge of the area which had United’s Spanish keeper diving at full stretch to claw away.

Moussa Dembele also proved a handful but the Belgian lacked composure to hurt United.

Yet just when Fulham thought they had survived the opening half without damage, Rooney pounced from close range after Jonny Evans had teed-up the striker from Ashley Young’s 42nd minute cross following a mistake by John Arne-Riise.

The sighs of relief could be heard all around the ground.

United, who meet City in what could be a winner-take-all game on April 30, dominated possession after the interval but were unable to add to their tally.

Schwarzer was forced into action when Giggs played the ball over the top for Valencia, who seemed likely to score, but his shot was straight at the Australian international.

With 15 minutes remaining, United spurned a glorious chance to double their advantage.

Schwarzer, who had an excellent game, twice denied Young before Giggs had a goal-bound effort blocked by Brede Hangeland.

United survived a scare in the 89th minute when Fulham substitute Danny Murphy went crashing inside the penalty area following a Michael Carrick challenge.

But referee Michael Oliver waved away Fulham’s appeals for a penalty as United hung on for their ninth win in 10 league games.

 

Messi tops football rich list ahead of Ronaldo and Beckham

Lionel Messi has been named the highest paid footballer in the world, trailed by England’s American based star, David Beckham and Real Madrid’s Portuguese star in third position.

According to France Football, which is set to release figures for the best paid players in the world on Tuesday, Barcelona forward Messi raked in €33 million last year from wages and sponsorship deals.

LA Galaxy midfielder and former England captain Beckham, for so long the game’s top earner, came in second on €31.5m, while Real Madrid star Ronaldo collected €29.2m in 2011.

Elsewhere, Samuel Eto’o, who made a lucrative move from Inter to Anzhi Makhachkala last summer, is fourth on the list, with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney fifth.

Wealthy Premier League outfit Manchester City have two players in the top ten, with Argentine forward Sergio Aguero and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure sixth and seventh, respectively.

The only other club represented twice is Madrid, with Ronaldo’s team-mate Kaka ranking ninth.

Elsewhere, it is worth noting that Chelsea misfit Fernando Torres, who finally got back amongst the goals at the weekend, netted €16.7m during his disastrous first 12 months at Stamford Bridge.

There is not a single player based in Serie A in the top 10 but there is one representative from the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich skipper Philipp Lahm.

THE LIST
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)                                     33m
David Beckham (LA Galaxy)                               31.5m
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)                      29.2m
Samuel Eto’o (Anzhi)                                           23.3m
Wayne Rooney (Man United)                            20.6m
Sergio Aguero (Man City)                                   18.8m
Yaya Toure (Man City)                                        17.6m
Fernando Torres (Chelsea)                                 16.7m
Kaka (Real Madrid)                                              15.5m
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)                         14.3m

The amount was rated in the generally accepted currency of the European Union member countries.

Rooney lifts Man United top as City lose

Wayne Rooney

Two goals from Wayne Rooney put Manchester United back on top of the Premier League for the first time in five months when they beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday and Manchester City went down to a 1-0 defeat at Swansea City.

Rooney took his tally to nine goals from his last six matches and 26 for the season, opening the scoring with a close-range effort after 36 minutes, and he made it 2-0 when he converted a 71st-minute penalty after Keith Andrews hauled down Ashley Young.

The win lifted the champions on to 67 points from 28 games, one more than Manchester City who are second after leading the table since the middle of October.

Both teams were in action on Sunday after playing in the Europa League on Thursday when they lost the first legs of their round-of-16 matches.

United, surprisingly beaten 3-2 at home by Athletic Bilbao, bounced back immediately. They already looked comfortable at 1-0 and the balance tipped their way even more when West Brom had Jonas Olsson sent off for a second bookable defence after tripping Javier Hernandez in the 66th minute.
Hernandez had gone close earlier for United, thumping a fine strike against the post.

City, who lost 1-0 in Lisbon to Sporting on Thursday, had a lucky escape at the Liberty Stadium when Scott Sinclair saw his seventh-minute penalty saved by Joe Hart.

City then had plenty of possession but could not find a goal.

With the game seemingly headed for a goalless draw that would have kept City top with a better goal difference than United’s, the deadlock was broken seven minutes from time when Luke Moore, who had been on the field for four minutes after replacing Danny Graham, found himself unmarked in space and headed home Wayne Routledge’s cross.

Micah Richards thought he had equalised for City in the dying minutes, but his effort was ruled offside.
Moore told Sky Sports News: “That was a massive win for us and our pressure paid off today. I don’t score too many headers, but I’ll take anything and it was a great cross from Wayne.”

Norwich City were playing bottom-placed Wigan Athletic in the day’s late match (1600 GMT).

REUTERS