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Celtic 1-0 Man Utd

With three games of this season’s Champions League gone, United bragged that they had learned their lessons from last season’s humiliating group finish. Two losses later, and yet another final game decided looming, United will rue their terrible display in Copenhagen and failure to score in Glasgow.

Celtic was never going to be easy, especially with Sunday’s game against Chelsea in mind, and the manager correctly decided to field a full stregth team. United have shown an ability to succeed with rested players this seadon and will also have learned from the experience in Denmark. However, despite approaching the game with the right attitude, United still somehow failed to lose. Celtic, who did not get a kick all evening, had one shot on gola which won the game, and this followed 80 mins of one way traffic from the Reds. This was a cruel result, but that is football, and United should blame themselves for failing to score. The officials did not help, with two one on ones given offside without reason and the free kick that led to the goal being dubious to say the least. Yet United had chances, missed a penalty even, and must take a look in the mirror before passing the buck.

What an anticlimax to such a built up game. Not only did United lose, but the Celtic fans did not keep their part of the bargain either. The famous Parkhead roar must have been asleep for 80 minutes until the goal, as we certainly did not hear them. You’ll never walk alone before the game was done very well, despite out best efforts to drown it out, but the home crowd sat down in silence after that. It was no different to a Premiership game, no matter what the papers say. It was only after the winning goal that the roar began, and however deafening the noise was, it was still overhyped in the media. United’s away support, however, was absolutely fantastic and probably the best of the season by far. Start to finish non stop singing as our players dominated the game.

The role of Louis Saha is this game was strange. With his best chance to equalise he stopped in his tracks, choosing to look up at the linesman rather than slot the ball away. The linesman did not flag, and it was a golden chance wasted. Saha than missed the last minute penalty to compound our misery, before refusing the chance to applaud the way support at the final whistle. This will not have made him many friends in the dressing room, in the stands or among the masses watching on TV. He has a very easy way of winning those people back though, and Sunday would be the perfect time to do it.

And so the Champions League history of Man United takes another strange turn. From the brink of easy qualification United now risk UEFA cup football in 2007 instead. Yet the league form is still fantastic; the contrast is amazing. Chelsea is now the focus of attention, but some minds will still be on Tuesday night, hopefully not Saha’s though.

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