News, views, and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Rafael da Silva and Ryan Giggs’ goals helped United take all three points from their Premier League clash with Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Saturday as they continue to lead the league by 12 points.
Rafael’s ‘thunderbolt’ strike after 23 minutes set United on their way and Giggs helped secure the victory 10 minutes to time.
However, top scorer Robin van Persie picked up an injury in the game. The Dutchman collided with a television camera in the build-up to Rafael’s opener and was substituted before half-time with Danny Welbeck.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports:
"I imagine it will be tender and sore for a few days but hopefully he will be all right, especially for the Madrid game,” which is a relief for all concerned as United host Real Madrid at Old Trafford next Tuesday evening.
Ferguson also revealed his pleasure after Saturday’s result and praised his team for their ‘focus’.
“Today was about our determination and concentration at the back,” he told MUTV.
“I decided to play all my experienced players: Ferdinand, Vidic, Carrick, Giggs, van Persie, Evra. We needed plenty of experience because it’s not an easy place to come to,” he continued.
“It was a scrappy game for a lot of the time, the pitch was lively and it’s a tight ground. It was an ideal situation for a shock but fortunately we didn’t get that.”
Meanwhile, United midfielder Michael Carrick received high praise from the fans during his performance last weekend. The travelling fans sang chants that compared the Englishman to United veteran Paul Scholes.
"Scholes is a legend, so I don't know whether it is tongue-in-cheek but it is a nice song and I will take that," Carrick said after the game.
However, Carrick was quick to dismiss talk of the title. He revealed that the United team still believe there is plenty of work to be done even though they sit comfortably clear of Manchester City by 12 points.
"We have a job to do and the manager has said we need to think game to game and just win the next match, what's in front of us. You can't look too far ahead because it can come back and bite you,” he insisted.
He did, however, concede that the weekend’s game wasn’t United’s best performance but, despite his belief they can play much more ‘beautiful football’, he stated sometimes they have to ‘win ugly’.
"The pitch was bouncy and bobbly and it's tight at the best of times here. "It was just a case of adapting to the conditions and the context of the game, battling it out at times. I thought we did that well. Sometimes you have to do that. Throughout the season it's not always going to be pretty.”
In transfer news, The Daily Mail claims that United are preparing to ‘go head-to-head’ with Bayern Munich in the race to sign Borussia Dortmund’s wantaway striker Robert Lewandowski who’s agent dropped hints this week that the Pole will be departing from Dortmund at the end of this season.
The Mail also reports that rumoured United, Chelsea, and Spurs ‘target’ Son Heung-min will agree a new contract with his club Hamburg imminently, thwarting plans from numerous clubs to bring him to the Premier League this summer.
Elsewhere, The Mirror and Daily Express claim that United will ‘battle’ Arsenal for Newcastle United midfield star Yohan Cabaye, along with some rumours linking Champion’s League top scorer Galatasaray’s Burak Yilmaz with a move to Old Trafford.
Speculation that United will offer £55 million to Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo continues, as do the rumours linking United with a £10 million bid for League Cup winning Swansea defender Ashley Williams.
In other news, United youngster Reece Brown has gone out on loan at Ipswich Town for the remainder of the season.
Finally, Wayne Rooney took time out to pick his Manchester United 6-a-side dream team, which consisted of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Shinji Kagawa, Robin van Persie and himself, as he believes defenders are unnecessary.
image: © smemon