European Soccer

Man U romps, closes gap on Arsenal


Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney combined for four goals to lead Manchester United to a 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle United, helping Man U close the gap on Arsenal to three points.

Manchester United dominated the Magpies from start to finish as Ronaldo proved unstoppable, setting up Rooney’s opening goal before scoring two of his own to break open the match and put more pressure on Arsenal, which was reeling from its draw to Birmingham and the difficult loss of forward Eduardo Da Silva, who suffered a horrific broken leg.

With 11 matches to go, Manchester United is now three points behind the Gunners with the teams still to meet at Old Trafford on April 13. Will the Red Devils catch Arsenal? Will the Gunners regroup and overcome the loss of Eduardo to hold on to first place? Share your thoughts below.

  • Brant

    If Newcastle put 4 orange cones out there in black-and-white shirts, would they *really* be any worse than the current defense?


  • j1

    I didn’t think keegan would make a difference from the start they should have given allardyce some more time


  • Ryan

    Someone needs to get Arsene Wenger a wake-up call.

    That was disgraceful for him to call Taylor to be banned for life.


  • Alex

    Ryan- Wenger has since retracted his comments. He made them in the heat of the moment and didn’t really mean it. However, I believe Taylor should still get a lengthy ban. It was a horrific tackle, and officials need to crack down on that kind of play, even in situations without horrible injuries like Eduardo’s.


  • Ryan

    I find it very hard to believe that a calculating personality like Arsene Wenger does anything without thinking. He knew what he was saying and made the statements anyways. The retraction is merely P.R. by Arsenal.


  • Hincha Tim

    Why is it a disgraceful comment that Wenger made? It didn’t hurt anyone (unlike the tackle). It might have been, unrealistic and wrong, but not disgraceful. He was defending his players, which is his job.


  • kpugs

    Ryan…let me guess you’re a Man Utd. fan. So am I, only I know something about how the game works in England.

    I hate the gooners…HATE. But they got ripped off today, because there was a penalty on Adebayor that was let go because it was injury time, only for Senderos to give up that stupid penalty a minute later.

    The tackles was ridiculous, and Wenger can say whatever he wants. He has said FAR more ridiculous things, his middle name is “I did not see it” whenever asked about bogus calls. He watches the whole game but “doesn’t see” the crucial plays.

    I have to suck it up and admit it. Let me say again, I HATE the gooners. But they got ripped today and whatever punishment Taylor gets I’m willing to bet it will be insufficient.


  • kpugs

    I also have to agree with J1. Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Kaka and Messi. I’m not being a homer, my first love is RBNY even if I support Man Utd.

    But I’ve seen Messi shut down for 45 minutes by a nobody U.S. defender. I’ve seen Kaka miss a sitter.

    I’ve seen Ronaldo send plenty of balls into row Z but in the past two seasons I haven’t seen him stopped nor contained, by ANYONE. If anything when he does nothing he takes himself out of the game. It’s unreal.

    P.S. I know how insane this argument is, Messi and Kaka are ridiculous. So I’m willing to admit there is certainly an argument here.


  • Michael

    Good point about Ronaldo kpugs. I am a United fan, so I am a bit biased I know, but it was definitely bogus that he finished third to Messi in the Player of the Year awards. I could understand Kaka a bit more so given the way he played in the Champions League, but it is called the player of the year award, and while Kaka was great in the CL, so was Ronaldo, both in the knockout stages early last year and the group stages this fall.

    Plus, he was unbelievable in league play while Kaka has not really has not replicated his European form in Serie A at all over the last year or so. And Messi is gets hurt too often, meanwhile, Ronaldo does it in all competitions and with Portugal. I mean, after today, he has 21 goals in the league, 5 in the CL, and 3 in the F.A. Cup. Not to mention a number of assists and his overall play. Who else is that good across the board? Should have been the player of the year if they looked for more than just CL play. Not that Kaka and Messi aren’t great. They are, but I watch them both every Saturday and they just do not have the same consistency


  • Alex

    Not about ManU, Arsenal, Mark Taylor or anything else Ives has written about, but Houston just got HAMMERED by … that team from Japan whose name escapes me at the moment.


  • smokeminside

    Gamba Osaka, it pains me to write. And “HAMMERED” is putting it gently. Bare, the brazilian forward, was unreal.

    The crowd was better, but I don’t know how many were there.

    Galaxy played much better in the third place game against Sydney, and Beckham connected on some beautiful long cross field passes, one of which led directly to Galaxy’s first goal.

    and, yes, in case you were wondering, he gave his shirt away again, but I don’t know who the little boy was this time.

    It was fun being there. Wish soccer at this level was more appreciated here…


  • Brant

    Ives – I know you normally track US Soccer, but have you got *any* insight at all as to what plagues Newcastle’s defense?
    I’m convinced that if you put Chelsea’s back line in Newcastle shirts, they’d let in three goals a game…
    How does Shay Given stand it?


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