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12/01/2009 08:13

Papers: Reds roar

Canny Fergie exposes class divide
The road ahead would appear to be much as Luiz Felipe Scolari feared it might be. More success, seemingly, for this marvellous Manchester United side and trouble for Chelsea. The manner of this defeat would suggest so much ground has been lost to the champions of England, Europe and the world, who not only established a new Barclays Premier League record with an eighth consecutive clean sheet but also looked a class apart. When the team sheets appeared before kick-off, Sir Alex Ferguson's sanity was being questioned. He had left Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick on the bench, opting instead to unleash Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher against Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and John Mikel Obi. But it proved a masterstroke, 34-year-old Giggs emerging as the man of the match - with Fletcher not far behind him - and dictating the tempo of United's vastly superior football. Ferguson and his players had responded brilliantly to the accusations that had come from Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez. To that first United goal, Chelsea did not respond at all.
Matt Lawton, Daily Mail

In the latest instalment of the public feud between Sir Alex Ferguson and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, the United manager has dismissed the Spaniard's claims that referees and the authorities favour United, saying: “I think he was an angry man. He must have been disturbed for some reason."

The Sun reveals that Chelsea's players were also disturbed ahead of the big match, by a fire alarm at the team hotel - bizarrely set off by cigar-puffing fellow guest Diego Maradona.

The same paper condemns sections of the Chelsea support for their chanting during Sunday's match. A number of the away support aimed: "You should have died in the tunnel," at Cristiano Ronaldo, following the winger's car crash last week.

Round Up By Steve Bartram


Premier League