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Sunday, 23 November 2008

Aston Villa 0 - 0 Manchester United - Martin O'Neill's Verdict

I was a bit disappointed Manchester United didn't have this game sewn up by half time. The first 45 minutes saw them miss 3 good chances and end the half having had 57% of the posession. In the first 15 minutes of the second half Villa had a bright spell and Agbonlahor could have scored for them. Wayne Rooney, who just a month ago couldn't miss a goal if he tried has now gone 35 days without scoring. He missed an absolutely golden chance towards the end. Carrick played a high ball into the area and Rooney watched it come over his shoulder and then, rather than smashing it into the roof of the net on the volley as he normally would, he allowed the ball to bounce and then crashed his shot high into the crowd, the ball had snow on it when it finally came down.

Vidic had a lucky escape in my opinion when he fouled Agbonlahor. He grabbed the England mans shirt and was pulling him back for a good 15 metres before finally going down in the area. I think the ref bottled it to be honest because if he granted a free kick there was no question Vidic would have been off. So there it was, 0-0, which meant the top 5 teams in the Premier league failed to score a goal between them.

Martin O'Neill said of the match : "I thought it was important to battle very strongly and we did that well. We could have nicked it at the end but we also had moments to endure ourselves. Overall, it was a very hard-fought draw. We were spirited and resilient. The players are doing splendidly and putting a big effort into the games. The last two matches have pitted us against the very, very best. United won't be too far away at the end of the season. They have so much movement, such creativity and good players. It was a great effort against them and I am so pleased with my players. They put a big effort into the match and if we had been beaten it wouldn't have been through a lack of effort." On the subject of the tussle between Agbonlahor and Vidic on the hour mark, O'Neill added: "It was a penalty. You can see it back and consider if it was inside the box or outside the box. But it wasn't just that. The decision is a massive one because even if it is outside the box, it's a foul. And the player, having committed the foul and as the last man, has to be sent off. The referee chose not to give it. I thought it was too big for him. I thought the consequence of the decision was too big for him. It was a major moment. He had a hold of Gabby throughout the move. I can understand the referee being hesitant about giving the penalty but not about giving the foul. It was a goalscoring opportunity and the consequence should have been Vidic being sent off.".....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

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