Loading...
Next Match: Image
Bristol City in the Carabao Cup.
Wednesday 20th December 2017, KO 20:00 UTC.
User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

2002 - 2003 : We've got our trophy back!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:44 am

After the bitter disappointment of the 2001-02 season, Manchester United returned to the summit of English football as they deposed Arsenal and retook their Premiership crown.

After Arsenal clinched the Premiership so convincingly in the previous season, many were predicting the end of Manchester United's golden dynasty. Such predictions were grossly pre-mature as the team proved their critics wrong. Inspired by the goals of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, they produced a stunning unbeaten run in the second half of the Premiership campaign to win the title.

Sir Alex Ferguson called it the 'sweetest' championship of the eight he has won at Old Trafford and considering the way it was achieved, it's hard to disagree with him.

Arsenal were the eventual FA Cup winners after beating United in the fifth round at Old Trafford. And there was to be further cup disappointment for the Reds in March when they lost the Worthington Cup final to Liverpool.

European glory again eluded United as Real Madrid put an end to United's hopes of winning the Champions' League. Despite their excellent form throughout the group stages, they came unstuck yet again in the knock-out phase. A thrilling 6:5 aggregrate defeat to Real in the quarter-finals could not disguise United's shortcomings.

Nevertheless, it was still a greatly successful season for Manchester United. A second trophyless season would have heralded a crisis at the club but as Roy Keane lifted the Premiership high over his head at Goodison Park on the last day of the season, it was a clear indication that Manchester United are still the team to beat.



User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

2003 - 2004 : Chelsea are coming!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:57 am

Roman Ambromovich buys himself a piece of football glory by shelling out £130 million on a team that has not won the League Title for 50 years and only once in its history. It will shake football to the root as football sees huge sums of money being spent on players in a short period of time to make Chelsea competitive.

That season Arsenal won the league but it didn't take a genius to see the blues were going to be rivals and contends soon, if they could keep their rich sugar-daddy. In fact Arsenal did it in style, remaining unbeaten in all league games throughout the season.

United finished 3rd after a poor end of the season saw us drop out of contention for the league and we would finish 15 points behind Arsenal. Pundits and even some fans said that this was the end of United's long reign or, if not the end of then the beginning of the end.

At the start of that season, United legends who has driven us through the 90's were getting older and some leaving. Roy Keane was starting to lose his mantle as invincible. The departure of David Beckham caused a stir with some fans raising eyebrows and voices in disgust at losing a Fergie Fledgling. He went to Real Madrid and we imported an unknown kid from Portugal called Cristiano Ronaldo do Santos Aveiro. Ronaldinho was joining from Paris St Germain and the buzz around Old Trafford was of sheer excitement not seen surrounding a signing for many years. But nothing happened, Ronaldinho didn't arrive after 2 months of talk and when a last minute bid came from Barcelona he jumped to Spain.

In the Champions League we fell to Porto in the first knockout round. Yet salvaged a season with an FA Cup victory over Millwall in a 4-0 win. By the end of the season, everyone was talking about the new kid and had almost forgotten Beckham and Ronaldindho.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

2004 - 2005 : Money not only talks, it wins

Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:06 am

Chelsea won their 1st league crown for 50 years with a team that resembled more a harlem global trotters dream side than a football team. They had spent an incredible £170 million pounds in 2 seasons to capture all the top talent going those summers. They were almost invincible though and won the league with an amazing 95 points and a 12 point margin.

2005 was a very sour year for United fans. For the second season running we finished 3rd, dropping further behind the winners and Arsenal who were runners up. In the League Cup we lost in the semi final to new rivals Chelsea and were eliminated from the Champions League in the first knockout round to AC Milan after very poor 2 legged match. Salvation was not to be realised by the FA Cup either. In the final United outplayed Arsenal and could and should have won easily. Many fans and pundits touted it as the best performance by any team in an FA Cup final ever against one of the best sides in England. Arsenal played for the draw into extra time and in a desperate penalty shoot out won the Cup with United's tears overflowing the famous silverwear.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

2005 - 2006 : Not gone yet!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:22 am

What's this!?! Why are United still competing? Their decade of glory is over yet still they hang in there. Against all the lessons of history, the dominate team of the 1990's isn't going away... in fact they are rebuilding and coming together as a unit.

United were to finish runners up in the league to Chelsea but performed much better and closed the points gap. Liverpool emerged into 3rd with their fans talking about the season to come and the resurrection of the Anfield machine.

Wayne Rooney in his second season with United, but his first full season after breaking his foot, was supreme. Ruud was still banging in goals too and the freshness and energy , as well as the skill, of that kid , Ronaldo, was starting to make people drool.

Edwin van der Sar arrived from Fulham (finally after being pursued by Fergie as a replacement for Peter Schmeicel since 1999) . Also to arrive in the January of 2006 was Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra. van der Sar and Vidic added a new dimension to United defence, solidity that would see United concede only 8 goals at home in the league. Evra looked out of place though and his attacking flair saw him caught out of position many times in his few games after arriving with many fans vocally rubbishing his performances.

United won the League Cup that spring but were knocked out in the 5th round of the FA Cup by arch-rivals Liverpool.

The season was not great, but the light was shinning brighter at the end of the tunnel.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

2006 - 2007 : Success!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:36 am

There is just no getting this man down, is there? Sir Alex Ferguson builds yet another team able to win the Premiership with mainly young lads, supported by a few legendary fledglings. But the season didn't look like being a successful one back in July when leading marksman and goal-king, Ruud van Nistelrooy, fell out of favour and was ousted to Madrid. Many asked where were the goals coming from?

But with only one major signing in the summer, that of Michael Carrick, and the irrepressible Rooney and Ronaldo the team took the Premiership by storm playing some amazing football.

United won the league by 6 points from Chelsea with 2 cup finals looming in the FA Cup and the Champions League if we could defeat AC Milan. Injuries to the defence saw those hopes fade then evaporate when, with 6 first team defenders on the injury list, United played poorly against Milan at home to concede 2 away goals in a 3-2 win and then play like schoolboys in Italy in the return and United were out. In the FA Cup final United played Chelsea and, in similar fashion to the Arsenal match a couple of season beforehand, United played superb football at times yet lost to a last minute, extra time goal by Drogba. Dreams of another treble or double were gone but United were back and champions again.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

2007 - 2008 : The year to deliver

Wed May 28, 2008 1:04 pm

2007 started like a dream. No sooner had the previous season ended then major transfer news broke and was swiftly confirmed by the club. Kuszczaks loan deal was made permanent and was followed by the long expected, and much delayed, transfer of Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich. Everyone expected that but the next day the club announced the signing of 2 young players with the world at their feet. Nani was signed from Sporting Lisbon and Anderson from Porto. United fans were buzzing with the news and it wasn’t even June yet! The transfer business seemed over for another year but there was one saga still playing out. That of Carlos Tevez who had a very complicated and some would say illegal loan deal with West Ham was unravelled and a 2-year loan deal completed in early August for the start of the season.

So much to be excited for and to talk about and the season had not yet started!

When it did it was an anti-climax. The Charity Shield produced a win on penalties over Chelsea but in truth that game didn’t matter, never does. In fact the omens were bleak as traditionally, and superstitiously, the winners never go on to win the league.

Then the doubts kicked in. The Premiership season started with 2 draws at lowly Reading and Portsmouth and a defeat to Manchester City of all people. Analysts will point to the sizzling football and passing of the United team and argue we deserved to start with 9 points from those games - the statisticians will point to the league table and show United in the relegation zone with 2 points from 9. It was going to be a long and fruitless season.

September was more rewarding and revived hopes. 5 wins including a great win away from home against Sporting in the Champions League brought deserved points and a climb up the table. The month ended on a sour note as the reserve and youth team were dumped unceremoniously out of the League Cup at the first hurdle by Championship side Coventry.

An unbeaten run followed, including a magnificent match drawn at Arsenal, taking us almost into December before we stumbled again to battling Bolton. Despite dropping points to us, Arsenal headed the charge to the Premiership with pundits drooling over their football and constantly talking about the babies at Ashburn.

United closed the gap and a fruitful December and January saw us reducing Arsenal's led still further. United easily qualified from a difficult Champions League group with a game to spare and in the FA Cup we won against fellow Premiership sides in Villa and Spurs, who were both easily despatched in 2 great games of football.

The month of February started with tears as we remembered those who had died at Munich and the long awaited and much hyped "remembrance" game against City overwhelmed the players emotions and the fairytale win was taken by City by 2 goals to 1 with United playing poorly. The 2 weeks of services and tv coverage and the emotions of the day with the United team wearing a traditional strip clearly took its toll on the players who did not perform anywhere near their ability.

Business turned back to the FA Cup in February and our route to Wembley looked to be taking a difficult path when we were paired with another Premiership side in Premiership leaders Arsenal. In a fantastic display of attacking football, United destroyed Arsenal 4-0 to qualify for the quarter-finals against yet another Premiership side in Portsmouth.

Those two games were sandwiches between the last 16 of the Champions League tie against a buoyant Lyon but tactically United were superb and quiet easily won, despite the score line 2-1 on aggregate.

United were dumped out of the FA Cup by Portsmouth after a reckless challenge by Kuszczak, who had replaced Van der Sar at half time, conceding a penalty and getting himself dismissed. Ferdinand went in goal but with a flapping Rio, ten men and a defensive minded Portsmouth it would be impossible to break them down and the 1-0 loss hurt for how it happened more than the football that was played.

Arsenal, since we defeated them in the cup, had lost their nerve and United gained the top spot in the Premiership overhauling a 12-point difference to establish a 5-point lead. It was not to be maintained though as more critical games came our way and once again we struggled with fitness and form in the closing stages of the season. The quarter finals of the Champions League against a Roma intend on revenge was set up by a magnificent 2-0 away win in Rome. The home leg was tight but when DeRossi missed a penalty it was game over and the 3-0 aggregate win set up a semi final clash with the mighty Barcelona. A 0-0 draw in the away leg was criticized for lacking adventure but it was forgotten when a 1-0 win, set up by a super strike from Scholes, saw United qualify for the final of the Champions League.

League form had suffered during those 4 games though and Chelsea were climbing to with touching distance of our crown. The season would go to the wire with everything to play for in the final game. As long as we avoided defeat and Chelsea failed to win by 20-0 we would be champions. It was nail biting stuff for 80 minutes with a slim 1-0 lead over Wigan at their ground being matched by Chelsea's 1-0 in their home match. Any slip up would cost us the title. Legendary Giggs came off the bench, slipped in unmarked in to the penalty area and when Rooney sublime pass found Ryan it was game over. CHAMPIONS!

We then travelled to Moscow for the final of the Champions League, against Chelsea in the first all English final. Chelsea were favourites but hearts were mainly with United in the 50th year since Munich. An enthralling match ended 1-1 after extra time and 10 men for Chelsea after Drogba was sent off for a petulant slap on Vidic. Everyone feared the penalties. Memories of the bitter defeat to Arsenal on penalties 3 years before in the final of the FA Cup filled most supporters with dred. After Tevez and Carrick had scored, Ronaldo missed and Chelsea had not. Hargreaves and Nani scored but so did Lampard and Cole for Chelsea. It was all down to the final penalty which if Terry scored we would be devastated. He missed! and in the excitement Anderson and Giggs stepped up for the extra penalties and dispatched them with aplomb. Anelka misses for Chelsea and UNITED HAVE WON IT!

3 trophies in the season and the big two once again going to Manchester. Isn’t life wonderful?

Return to “Record, Honours and History”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users