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Sunday, 16 November 2008

Sir Alex Notches Up 50 As Ronnie Makes It To 100

manchester united sir alex ferguson unitedALEX FERGUSON celebrated 50 years in the game by leading Manchester United to their biggest win of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo joined in the party with his 100th goal for the club as Stoke were swept aside. Fergie started his playing career with Queen's Park and five decades later the scene could hardly have been more contrasting as nearly 70,000 packed Old Trafford expecting an easy win.

And the fans weren't disappointed as Ronaldo sparked a goal rush with his landmark strike inside three minutes. Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov and debut boy Danny Welbeck netted before Ronaldo rounded off a fine day with goal No.101. Welbeck's effort must have put an extra wide smile on the face of his boss who hit the target on his first game against Stranraer back in 1958.

Ferguson hailed Ronaldo whose campaign didn't start until September as he recovered from an ankle op. The boss said: "That is nine for the season now and I am sure he'll be into double figures soon. Overall he has scored 101 times in 253 appearances which is unbelievable for a winger.

The only negative for Fergie was seeing three players pull out of midweek internationals. Darren Fletcher went off with a knee injury after 63 minutes and misses Scotland's match against Argentina. Worried Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney failed to start against Stoke and have been pulled out of England's squad to face Germany in Berlin. Fergie is worried for the rest of his players in action, especially those travelling to Brazil. He added: "We have Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson going over there so God knows what time they will get back. It is not an easy trip and we have Aston Villa away on their return."

Ronaldo got the show on the road when Amdy Faye clattered into Carlos Tevez to provide him with a free-kick to line up. The Portuguese beat Thomas Sorensen but the keeper might have done better. Ferguson had to wait until stoppage time for the second as Carrick thundered a shot through a crowd of Stoke bodies and into the net. Missing from action was the long throws by Rory Delap that have been a feature of Stoke's play all season. He was thwarted by the steep slope around the pitch two feet from the line which prevented him launching the ball into the opposition box. Just after the restart it was game over as Berbatov controlled Tevez's driven pass and volleyed a screamer past Sorensen. Ronaldo had been on the end of some harsh treatment and the red mist descended. He took a swing at ex-Rangers defender Amdy Faye but got away with it. Sub Welbeck crashed home No.4 before a fifth came from another powerful Ronaldo free-kick. Stoke boss Tony Pulis said: "We were doing okay until United scored just before half-time. It killed us......"

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