WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

Papers: Reds closer to Treble

19/02/2013 09:36

The Independent's Ian Herbert writes...

Nani edges United closer to Treble

There were none of the double backflips with twist which Nani made his trademark when his Manchester United career looked like a cloudless sky. Just two thumbs, jerked over his shoudlers at the name and number on his back, after he had proved the crucial difference and broken the deadlock, reminding us that he was the one who used to have jet-heels at Old Trafford. If his man-of-the-match performance, undertaken in barely 45 minutes of football after arriving from the bench, preserves his United career into a sixth season then it will be one of football's more surprising turnarounds, for a player whose limited game-time has seen him reject a new contract, which has limited his game-time. Stranger things have happened. Antonio Valencia's struggle to reach the heights of last year, when he was player of the season, may help the cause of the Portuguese, who is a game-changer in a way Ashley Young has never been at Old Trafford. Some don't care for his attitude. But a little bit of attitude goes a long way on a night like this. For now, the only issue of consequence to his manager is an FA Cup quarter-final place, which allows United every right to think of three trophies. This was another fairly undistinguished performance... but the numbers don't lie. It has been 16 games now since United last lost. The defence has lost the "cartoon cavalcade" quality which Ferguson described back then. Essentially, United don't lose.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail claim BT Sport want Rio Ferdinand to follow Gary Neville into punditry when his Manchester United career finishes. The paper claims the defender is the channel's "first choice" if he decides to retire this summer.

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