The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Rooney escapes further ban
Wayne Rooney has escaped a fresh FA rap over his red card at Fulham. The striker will miss his side’s clash with Aston Villa on 5 April as he serves a one-match ban. But ref Phil Dowd confirmed Rooney did not swear at him after his second booking. Soho Square chiefs will let the star off with a written warning for punching the corner flag as he went off. An FA spokesman said: “We clarified with Phil Dowd that there was no abuse from the player after he was dismissed. In relation to the incident when he punched the corner flag, we have written to Wayne reminding him of his responsibilities.”
Neil Custis, The Sun
The Sun also claims Villa are appealing Brad Friedel's red card against Liverpool. At the moment he'll be suspended for their visit to OT a week on Sunday.
It's painful sifting through the pro-Liverpool hype, but the Telegraph's Kevin Garside offers a different view, suggesting United "can still ruin Rafa's wonderland". He writes: "Triumphalism is a dangerous indulgence in March", adding: "Liverpool can win their remaining nine fixtures and still fall short, not that many in Rafa's wonderland are giving that notion much thought."
The Guardian says "Sir Alex Ferguson is so concerned about United's sudden slump that he has been forced to gamble" by keeping the Villa game on Sunday, just two days before we face Porto. But that decision was made last week, purely because otherwise players returning on Friday evening from internationals would have had little preparation time for a Saturday 12:45 kick-off.
Meanwhile, The Mirror claims United are facing a striker crisis for the Villa game. Wayne Rooney is suspended, Dimitar Berbatov is nursing an ankle injury and Carlos Tevez faces a long trip back from Argentina World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Bolivia.