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12/11/2012 09:42

Papers: Bullied by Benteke

United rattled again by big bully
After the general euphoria of a stunning second-half Manchester United comeback had died down, Sir Alex Ferguson will have left Villa Park on Saturday night with a familiar feeling. It wasn’t the satisfaction of knowing that a trip to this  happiest of hunting grounds for him had yielded three points in the most dramatic fashion. Never mind that Manchester United’s manager departed Villa Park undefeated for the 17th time in succession, his 11th victory in that sequence having been chalked up courtesy of the half-time introduction of Javier Hernandez, the catalyst for the triumph. No, for at least the third time this season, he spent a rather uncomfortable 90 minutes watching a big striker torment his centre halves. It was a trend started by  Marouane Fellaini at Everton. Then Rickie Lambert pushed Southampton within sight of a victory at St Mary’s. On Saturday evening it would not be stretching a point to say that young Belgium forward Christian Benteke smashed Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling all around Villa Park. It is a theme that is almost becoming as common as United’s rousing call to arms.

Writing in The Sun, former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer says Sir Alex's current forward line "is the most frightening array of attacking talent Alex Ferguson has ever had". Shearer says it even eclipses the 1999 line-up of Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Telegraph report on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's title win in Norway, while The Times reveals that before last weekend United had played the same back four six weekends in a row for the first time since 2002.

Elsewhere, The Mirror claim Ryan Giggs is receiving expert advice from a swimming coach with the view to competiting in triathlons once he retires from football.

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