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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Tue Mar 23  GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. UEFA and the Viollets   
2. The Toffees come unstuck (again) Personal report by OUR SALFORD LASS
3. Sticky toffee Personal Report from RED KELLY
8. Juventus hit by injuries


Daily RED Trivia  Tuesday 23rd March 1999:

23/3/1957: Goals from Johnny Berry and Bobby Charlton help United beat Birmingham
 City 2-0 at Hillsborough in the FA Cup Semi-Final watched by 65,107. Team was:
 Wood, Foulkes, Bryne, Colman, Blanchflower, Edwards, Berry, Whelan, Charlton, Viollet, Pegg. 

1970: Fred Hopkin died in Darlington. Hopkin joined the Reds from Darlington
 and made his debut at Derby County in August 1919. The speedy Outside-left
 made 74 appearances between 1919-21, scoring 8 goals. He won League
 Championship medals in 1922 and 1923 for his next club, Liverpool. 

Barry Daily Comment:
Jesper Blomqvist is in Umeå(Sweden) getting his foot scanned. 
Some nerve in his foot is stuck between to muscels.
He has been dropped from the Swedish european championship qualification
match against Poland on the 27/3.

Previous News:
 Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:

Next Games:
April 3 Wimbledon (A)  15.00 PL
7 European Cup Semi Juventus (H)
11 FAC Semi Arsenal at Villa Park  12.30 UK Live Sky Sports Uk
17 Sheff Wed (H) 15.00 PL
21 European Cup Semi Juventus (A)
25 Leeds (A)  11.30 {am} UK PL Live Sky Sports UK 

UNITED Stats v All teams:

*** LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 21/03/99 ***

Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    30  18   9   3  68  31   37   63
 2  Arsenal              30  16  11   3  42  13   29   59
 3  Chelsea              29  15  11   3  44  23   21   56
 4  Leeds United         30  15   9   6  49  27   22   54
 5  West Ham United      30  13   7  10  34  39   -5   46
 6  Aston Villa          30  12   8  10  39  37    2   44
 7  Derby County         30  11  11   8  32  32    0   44
 8  Wimbledon            30  10  10  10  34  44  -10   40
 9  Liverpool            28  11   6  11  52  37   15   39
10  Tottenham Hotspur    29   9  12   8  34  34    0   39
11  Middlesbrough        29   9  12   8  39  40   -1   39
12  Newcastle United     30  10   8  12  38  41   -3   38
13  Sheffield Wednesday  30  10   5  15  35  33    2   35
14  Leicester City       28   8  10  10  28  37   -9   34
15  Coventry City        30   8   7  15  31  42  -11   31
16  Everton              30   7  10  13  23  35  -12   31
17  Blackburn Rovers     30   7   9  14  32  42  -10   30
18  Southampton          30   8   5  17  28  56  -28   29
19  Charlton Athletic    29   6  10  13  33  40   -7   28
20  Nottingham Forest    30   4   8  18  27  59  -32   20


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475
29/11/98    Leeds United             Home     W  3-2     2    55,172
05/12/98    Aston Villa              Away     D  1-1     2    39,241
12/12/98    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     D  2-2     1    36,079
16/12/98    Chelsea                  Home     D  1-1     2    55,159
19/12/98    Middlesbrough            Home     L  2-3     3    55,152
26/12/98    Nottingham Forest        Home     W  3-0     3    55,216
29/12/98    Chelsea                  Away     D  0-0     3    34,741
10/01/99    West Ham United          Home     W  4-1     3    55,180
16/01/99    Leicester City           Away     W  6-2     2    22,091
31/01/99    Charlton Athletic        Away     W  1-0     1    20,043
03/02/99    Derby County             Home     W  1-0     1    55,174
06/02/99    Nottingham Forest        Away     W  8-1     1    30,025
17/02/99    Arsenal                  Home     D  1-1     1    55,171
20/02/99    Coventry City            Away     W  1-0     1    22,596
27/02/99    Southampton              Home     W  2-1     1    55,316
13/03/99    Newcastle United         Away     W  2-1     1    36,500
21/03/99    Everton                  Home     W  3-1     1    55,182


       P   Won       Drawn     Lost      For        Against    Points
Home   16  11 (69%)  4 (25%)   1 (6%)    38 (2.4)   16 (1.0)   37 (2.3)
Away   14  7 (50%)   5 (36%)   2 (14%)   30 (2.1)   15 (1.1)   26 (1.9)

Total  30  18 (60%)  9 (30%)   3 (10%)   68 (2.3)   31 (1.0)   63 (2.1)

                                         Averages per game in (brackets)


HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 27/02/99 - Southampton (55,316)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  15/08/98 - Leicester City (55,052)
BEST WIN:                06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST DEFEAT:         20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)
BEST HOME WIN:           17/10/98 - Wimbledon (5-1)
HEAVIEST HOME DEFEAT:    19/12/98 - Middlesbrough (2-3)
BEST AWAY WIN:           06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT:    20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)

Champions League:
Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Bayern Munich   6  3  2  1  9  6  11   
Man United      6  2  4  0 20 11  10
Barcelona       6  2  2  2 11  9   8    
Brondby         6  1  0  5  4 18   3   

Dec  9 Brøndby         0-2  Barcelona
Dec  9 Man Utd         1-1  Bayern Munich


 Manchester Utd  2 v 0  Inter Milan
 Real Madrid     1 v 1  Dynamo Kiev
 Juventus        2 v 1  Olympiakos
 Bayern Munich   2 v 0  Kaiserslautern

**DYNAMO KIEV      2 v 0  REAL MADRID         (Agg:3-1)
OLYMPIAKOS         1 v 1  **JUVENTUS          (Agg:2-3)

Semi Final Draw to be played 7th, 21st April
Manchester United v Juventus  [OT 7/4]
Bayern Munchen v Dynamo Kiev 


Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

Subject: UEFA and the Viollets I have a message to pass on from Helen Viollet who would like to thank everyone once again for their support during a very difficult time. I know this has been said before but she wanted me to reiterate. She also received a letter from the General Secretary of UEFA the other day which she faxed over to me so that I could copy it for you all to read: Dear Mrs Viollet, We hope that you will not mind if we write a few lines to express how distressed we were to hear of the death of your husband. The last time we saw Dennis was in Munich - one of the places (if not THE place) which left indelible traces on his life. As you will remember, we invited him to attend the 1997 UEFA Champions League Final between BV Borussia Dortmund and Juventus FC and, at the same time, to 'lay the ghosts' of 1958 by re-visiting the hospital where the survivors of the crash received treatment. We can only say that Dennis was tremendously good company. We don't know what he said about the visit afterwards, but he not only seemed to enjoy it himself but also helped to make it a memorably enjoyable occasion for everybody else who was there and everybody he met inside and outside the Olympic Stadium. In the letter we sent to Dennis inviting him to Munich, we wrote that UEFA is proud of having Manchester United FC as a member of the European footballing family and we said to Dennis that, to quote the exact words in the letter, "you are one of the gentlemen who have made this club great and contributed to the development and improvement of European football." We don't think we can do much better than to repeat these words to you and, in offering you our most sincere condolences, we would like to promise you that football people will never, ever forget Dennis Viollet. With Kindest regards, UEFA Gerhard Aigner General Secretary
Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

Subject: The Toffees come unstuck (again) Personal report by OUR SALFORD LASS After a week of warm, spring sunshine I awoke on Sunday morning to pouring rain and gale-force winds. Obviously a match day then! I also woke to a streaming nose, aching limbs and thumping head. Having not been anywhere near an alcoholic drink for days, I realised that the dreaded bug was back, again! So as I sat shivering in front of the fire, looking out at the wind and the rain, my enthusiasm for my first game in 2/3 weeks took a dive. Rather reluctantly I have to admit, I dragged myself to the bathroom to get ready and at midday cast a final, longing look at the cat curled up in front of the fire and set off - Old Trafford bound. Actually, that was as bad as the day got thankfully! As I walked to the station, the sun was trying manfully to drag itself out from behind the clouds and by the time I arrived in Manchester, the weather had cheered up enormously. It was still grey and overcast and we did have to suffer a short shower before going into the ground, but once inside it managed to stay dry and, by the end of the game, the sun was actually shining. Arrving early on the forecourt to meet Ethel and Paul, I stood and watched the world go by. After the exertions of Wednesday night, I wasn't the only fan looking a little washed out - most talk was of brown underwear, hiding being sofas and burst eardrums damaged when Scholesy scored. As I stood there I realised that the woman who had been standing in front of me for the last 10 minutes, was the one-and-only Ethel! After much hugging and kissing we had a smashing chat until we were joined by Paul and his good luck charm. More hugging and kissing ensued. Twenty minutes before kick-off the son-and-heir arrived and Ethel suddenly realised she had to walk up all those stairs to the third tier! So it was more hugs and promises to keep in touch. A quick pasty in East Lower and it was time for kick-off. Perhaps we should have stayed outside - it had been more entertaining! There are some games that live in the memory forever and there are some that barely last until the next game! This was the latter. The first 45 minutes must be one of the worst 45 minutes I've seen in the 90's (I was going to say ever, but then remembering some of the crap we used to get served up in the 70's and 80's, maybe not!). Everton were terrible, absolutely clueless, and we seemed to still be snoozing on the flight home from Milan. We should have had 5 or 6 by half-time, as it was we managed no goals at all. It was one of those days when you actually want the other side to score because you know that will wake our lads up and we might actually get a half-decent game. Off the pitch, things weren't much better. Evertonians might be scousers, but they don't make anything like as much noise as the other lot and we just don't seem to be able to get as worked up about the blue half of Liverpool as we do about the red half. And it's nothing to do with them being "good" scousers - there were just as many aeroplane impressions in L Stand yesterday, as there ever is when the "real" scousers are in town. Basically, we couldn't be arsed! Shit opposition on the pitch, no opposition off the pitch and still exhausted from Wednesday night. We had to keep pinching ourselves and reminding each other that we really did need these three points, this was an important game! There were some light-hearted moments in the first half. I loved the banner that said - "Emu says the reception is still shite" and the short, fat Everton physio running the width of the pitch was the funniest thing I've seen in ages. There was some chanting going on intermittently. "Who put the ball in the scousers net" and "You are my Solksjaer" were popular as was "This is the worst fucking team we've ever seen" and the scousers got some reaction from us when they sang "Oh Manchester, is full of shit" (The only other chant they sang, other than their one-song - "Everton, Everton, Everton") but for most of the first 45 minutes, all was peace and quiet in the Theatre of Dreams. One interesting point - again, large areas of East Stand were left to stand throughout the game. Apart from proving the obvious point that standing alone won't improve the atmosphere, this also leads the more cynical amongst us to wonder if the club has some nasty surprise up its sleeve for the more troublesome inhabitants of East Lower once the new tier is added! Half-time brought a lump to the throat as Stevie Bruce onto the pitch to make the draw. Fergie had obviously thrown a few teacups around during half time because the second half was much better on the pitch. Off the pitch, East Stand was encouraged to increase their efforts by threatening gestures from Mr Schmeichel! From the kick-off, the team looked like it had finally shaken itself out of its slumbers, realised where it was and decided to get the bloody game sorted out! We poured forward over and over again whilst the Everton defence kneeled in prayer, obviously with the 8-1 stuffing of Notts Forest in mind! It wasn't long before Ole latched onto a superb ball and we were one-up. More choruses of "Who put the ball in the scouser's net" followed. Then Gary Neville decided to get in on the act and scored only his second United goal. After being the only player who had put any effort into the first 45 minutes, this was only what he deserved and now leaves brother Phil playing catch-up again. Finally, Becks re-found his scoring boots, putting a superb free kick into the net, despite their keeper getting a finger to it. Muttering about "Only singing when we're winning", the atmosphere improved enormously as we took the mickey out of the mickeys. "Its like watching City", "You're not very good" and "Going down, going down, going down" all led to vast numbers of aeroplane impressions. The best bit of the whole game though, was just after the third goal, with 25 minutes still to go, when hundreds of Everton fans decided to go home! They left to the whole of Old Trafford waving cheerio! On the pitch, the Everton players looked like puppies waiting for a beating. Once the game had been secured, the atmosphere died a bit again, but we kept ourselves amused singing "Schmeichel must stay" and giving Peter encouraging cheers every time he touched the ball. The Everton goal was a bit of stunner - an excellent free kick which left the United team standing and the fans with thei mouths open, but there was no way this absolutely awful team was going to score from open play, so it was "We shall not be moved" as we waited for the final whistle. We also joined in with a chorus of "Koppites are gob shites" started by the few Everton fans left in the stadium. So the game was not one of the most memorable ever played at Old Trafford, but it could end up being one of the most decisive. In recent seasons, it has been just such a game that has tripped us up. Arsenal and Chelsea had won, Leeds were coming on strong and we had a so-called "easy" game straight after a big European game. All the ingredients for a bout of nail-biting pessimism! Last season and the season before we could have lost this one, this season we pulled ourselves together and got it sorted - and this was without Keane, Giggs and Scholes. We really are doing the business now and it's in our own hands just how much silverware we end up with this season. Just make sure you keep bringing your lucky charm Paul!! Man-of-the-match? I would go for Gary Neville. Doing his Steve Bruce impression, he and Dwight kept us awake and in the first half. I would like to see Gary as captain when Keane isn't playing. Stam and Berg were excellent again - I love the way the crowd responds to Stam - I don't know about Yorke replacing Eric in playing terms, but Stam is certainly taking on Eric-like proportions as a crowd favourite (he's even over-taken Keane in the affections of the son-and-heir!). Peter maintains his form - hopefully if we keep up the support, he may listen to us and stay. I was impressed by Greening again, the lad was trying too hard on some occasions and ran over the ball, but he looks impressive and has stacks of potential. Finally, a short apology for this being the first report from me in a while. I have not been able to go to away games recently, so this was my first game since the Chelsea game at Old Trafford. The Chelsea game was on the day that Dennis Viollett died - I just couldn't bring myself to write anything that night. Unfortunately, I cannot go to the Wimbledon game next weekend but normal business should be resumed for the next home game which is of course, the Juventus game, which is closely followed by the FA Cup semi final, the scousers etc etc. So watch this space! Copyright OUR SALFORD LASS, 1999 All rights reserved
Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

Subject: Sticky toffee Personal Report from RED KELLY Sticky toffee Can you remember back to when you were a kid (or maybe more recently in some cases) - when you kept a toffee in your pocket, saving it for later, and it became stuck and eventually inseparable from the pocket itself. The only way to detach said toffee from said pocket was to cut a hole in it. Well it seems that the Everton Toffees are in the same sticky state, being inexorably drawn to the bottom of the Premier League pocket and the only way they will escape is to fall through the hole created to suck them into the First Division where they belong. They were the poorest side I have seen all season and in my opinion they are doomed. The day started early as all four members of the family were on their way north with Karen and Alex to be dumped at the wrong end of the East Lancs Road while Gina and I would escape to the right end. Every time you travel on the infamous M6 you are reminded that your life can hang in the balance as the road often seems to be littered with accidents, incredibly poor driving and broken down vehicles. In truth yesterday was not that bad, as we set off so early, but nevertheless I still suffered a chilling reminder of an incident which happened only a short time ago. February 27 1999, the day of the Southampton game, I had had a call from Mick after he'd seen a note from Linda about a problem on the M6 around the turn for Holmes Chapel. A wagon had overturned and caused a huge tailback. It had caused us to change our plans and travel up the M1 and across Saddleworth moor to get to Old Trafford. The effect on the motorway that day had been devastating and at the time we had a good moan about that wagon and it's driver, but unbeknown to me the person who had been lying on the motorway was a friend and ex next door neighbour of mine from Southport. It is suspected that he had suffered a heart attack at 8.30am when his wagon jack-knifed and ended up stretched across the motorway. It had left the road, travelled up the embankment and then tipped as it came back down, but fortunately no other vehicle had been involved. Gerald was not wearing a seat belt, a fact which perversely saved his life at the time as his cab was crushed. He was thrown clear of the vehicle through the windscreen and landed unconscious on the M6. The wagon eventually grinding to a halt a mere few feet from his prostrate body. Gerald spent the next two weeks in intensive care but finally succumbed to his injuries and died last week having never regained consciousness. As I passed the spot where it all happened, where you can still see the tyre marks on the verge, it sent a chill down my spine and put the whole business of life and football into perspective. There but for fortune eh.... Not so long later Gina and I were on our way to Old Trafford to meet up with various people before the game including esteemed list member Ethel who was stood on the forecourt with the South African flag draped over her arm along with Linda and friend Pat. Last time the mad lot from South Africa were over I had missed them so it was good to get acquainted and to put a face to the mails. The lists have been superb for this, enabling Reds from near and far to meet up. It has widened our outlook and our perceptions of United's world-wide following and has been a benefit to all whether we live in the UK or anywhere else. I wonder who would be there if we got to Barcelona - forget I said that! My young daughter and I were exiled to the Family Stand yesterday having passed my Season Ticket on to my elder daughter. It wasn't as bad an experience as I'd expected as the Family Standers are quite a vocal bunch with few holds barred, not that there was much to cheer about during a first half which if I were to describe it as drab would be to give it too much credit. It took me all my time to encourage Gina from not falling asleep! Steve Bruce came on at half time to do the draw and received the standing ovation he deserves as a Red hero and I was dragged off into the bowels of the new and rather sterile Stretford End to stand in a queue for the rest of the half-time duration and end up paying well over the odds for a packet of crisps. I didn't begrudge her though as she had been very bored during that first 45 minutes and had made the comment it was more like a cinema than a football ground. Out of the mouths of babes eh! Not so the second half though. Having replenished stocks of energy by consuming said crisps faster than I thought possible we awaited the onslaught which would surely come. I'm sure I heard the rantings of a deranged Scot during the break and the crash of teacups on dressingroom wall was audible from where we were - I'm sure it was! The team were attacking our end and from the 'off' they had definitely been subjected to a deal of 'wizardry' at half-time as they were actually making an effort to win the game. It surely would not be difficult as Everton were a poor team at best and a facsimile of City at worst, a fact of which they were reminded on several occasions. My lucky mascot (Gina) who has witnessed some outstanding wins including 7-0 Barnsley, 6-1 Sheff Wed, was palpably not working correctly. I implored her to set her magic free and United on the winning trail and shook her soundly to ensure success. It seemed to have the desired effect as the team seemed more motivated and she couldn't stop laughing. The action poured down our end thick and fast and we thought Gazza Nev had broken his duck of the last two seasons by scoring. He hit a piledriver which swerved towards us and was curling nicely inside the post when Myhre palmed it away. Nev looked gutted as it was the best effort so far, and apart from his one other solitary goal, the best effort from him ever! After that he'd got the scent of impending glory in his flared nostrils and belted down that wing at every possible opportunity. Every attack I found myself on my feet holding up a nine year old child on one arm so that she wouldn't miss anything. It woke her up and had developed my right arm so successfully I now look like a tennis player - well, my arm does anyway. Meantime we amused ourselves with "if you all hate scousers" and "get a job you lazy twats". Eventually it fell to Ole to break the duck and after a sweet one-two with Yorke he smashed the ball past the keeper. We were already on our feet and as I screamed in my daughter's ear, she screamed in mine. The Toffees had been unwrapped. "Who put the ball in the scousers' net" we sang over and over. The attacks on the Everton goal became more and more frequent and more and more effective until Yorke again played the telling ball through to Nev who was powering down the right wing desperate to get on the end of it. We were up again, me with my right arm appendage poised at the ready. How Nev managed to squeeze the ball past Myhre I'll never know, but when he bounced back off the advertising hoarding and back onto the pitch the look on his face was a picture. Was he pleased or what!! If there is anyone who deserves a goal now and then it's Nev, he really does bleed red, black and white. Three minutes later we were up again and this time I had a chance to compose my right arm and position my load correctly in anticipation of another goal and we weren't disappointed as Becks struck a beautiful free-kick which dipped inside the far post as we looked at it. He then ran over towards his brethren in the Family Stand and slid on his knees with his arms raised in triumph. Well, he is a father now isn't he! We surely expected more and nearly got them, first from Jonathan Greening who wriggled his way clear in the box but fired against a post and then from Yorkie. Greening looked very lively when he came on - anxious to prove himself to the wizard and he looks a fine prospect. I like his all action style of play and if he can get over the problem he has of beating himself by either falling over his own feet or leaving the ball behind, he will achieve success at the highest level. Men of the match though were again Stam and Berg. They are forging a great partnership with all credit to Henning Berg who has obviously gone through a change of attitude to hoist himself up the pecking order and keep his place in the face of some stiff opposition. Stam is just magnificent, simple as that and if I were an opposition forward I wouldn't even bother to go near the United goal with first him to get past and then the big daft Danish bastard between the sticks. It's just not worth it. The only way Everton were going to score yesterday was from a free-kick and when Hutchinson struck one into the top corner he did it when the United players were scurrying into position and so was Schmeichel. Pity though, as the big daft sod only needs a couple more clean sheets to beat the United all time record held by Alex Stepney. Nevertheless there was plenty of encouragement for Peter with "Peter must stay, Peter must stay" echoing right around the ground. I half expected "Peter must go, Peter must go" after the free-kick went in though! It would have been nice to have seen his reaction and I'm sure we may have heard it even from the other end of the ground. I'd be happy to sing that song every game from now til the end of the season if it would help to change his mind - they don't come any better than Peter Schmeichel. So at the final whistle we made our way out of the ground and after a brief glass of pop in the pub we were back on the road to nowhere (the wrong end of the East Lancs Road). We drove along smiling contentedly to ourselves as we approached the setting sun which lit up the sky with a magnificent amber glow settling over Murkeydive. What a waste of a good sunset I thought. Copyright RED KELLY 1999
Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

Subject: FERGIE 'FRUSTRATED' BY WRANGLE Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has spoken of his frustration at the uncertainty over the future ownership of the club. The planned £640million takeover of United by BSkyB is the subject of a Monopolies and Merger Commission report which is being considered by the Department of Trade and Industry. Ferguson said: "The problem for us at the moment is that we're in limbo and we don't even know who will own the club." "Once we know where we stand, we'll get down to assessing what funds, if any, are available and how we can react to it. "But for the moment we can't do anything," Ferguson told the People.
Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

Subject: JUVE STARS ON £200,000 TO BEAT REDS By Sunday Mirror Staff Juventus will pay their players £200,000 a man if they can end Manchester United's European dream. The mega-rich Italian giants wasted no time giving their players an extra incentive to knock United out of the European Cup after they were drawn to meet each other in the semi-final. If Juventus dispatch Alex Ferguson's treble-chasers, the players will share more than £2million. A Final place could be worth 10 times that figure to the club. United, fresh from victory against Inter Milan in the quarter-finals, believe Juventus's indifferent form this season will undermine their challenge. But the Serie A champions, who have appeared in the last three European Cup Finals, have been beaten by United just once in four meetings in the competition over the last three seasons. United, who face the Italians in the first leg at Old Trafford on April 8, will pay their top players £150,000 if they win the European Cup. Last season United stormed into the knock-out stages of the competition after finishing top of their Champions' League group ahead of Juventus - and off the back of a memorable 3-2 win at Old Trafford. But a 1-0 defeat in the final group game in Turin gave Juventus a European lifeline and they went on to contest the Final against Real Madrid while United were knocked out in the quarter-finals against French Champions Monaco.
Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

Subject: FERGIE 'FRUSTRATED' BY WRANGLE Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has spoken of his frustration at the uncertainty over the future ownership of the club. The planned £640million takeover of United by BSkyB is the subject of a Monopolies and Merger Commission report which is being considered by the Department of Trade and Industry. Ferguson said: "The problem for us at the moment is that we're in limbo and we don't even know who will own the club." "Once we know where we stand, we'll get down to assessing what funds, if any, are available and how we can react to it. "But for the moment we can't do anything," Ferguson told the People.
Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

Subject: THREE STRIKERS AND WE'RE OUT, CLAIMS OLE Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims Manchester United cannot play with three strikers. Although the Norwegian hitman was glad to start alongside Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke against Everton at Old Trafford, he believes the tactic backfired. The three strikers, who have amassed 63 goals this season, made little impression on the rickety defence of the relegation-threatened Merseysiders in the first half. United boss Alex Ferguson had opted for three up front because he had no left winger because of the injuries to Ryan Giggs and Jesper Blomqvist. The result was that United were clearly unbalanced in midfield, while up front Solskjaer claims the three strikers were getting in each other's way. After the interval Ferguson switched to a 4-4-2 formation and moved Solskjaer out to left midfield. United looked more like their old selves and Solskjaer netted the first in the 3-1 victory with his 16th strike of the season as the Reds rattled in three goals in a 12-minute burst. Solskjaer believes this transformation in the second half was because of the change at half-time. ''I don't think we play at our best when there are three of us up front because we run into the same spaces and it gets a bit crowded,'' he admitted. ''In the second half against Everton we switched to 4-4-2 and we played better when I went to the left of midfield. ''When we play with three strikers who all play quite a similar game it is bound to happen.'' Victory over Walter Smith's side restored United's four-point lead at the top of the Premiership and keeps them on course for the dream treble of title, Champions' League and FA Cup. United face Juventus in the Champions' League semi-final first leg at Old Trafford on April 7 followed by the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal four days later. Solskjaer is relishing the climax to the season and he believes the next two months could be the best of his career. ''If you're not looking forward to the next two months then you can't look forward to anything in football,'' he declared. ''This is what football is all about. We have got three trophies to play for and that must be the best part of any footballer's career.'' Tomorrow Solskjaer flies out to join the Norwegian squad as they prepare for Saturday's Euro 2000 qualifier in Greece and he expects to be fit despite hurting his knee against Everton.
Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

Subject: Juventus hit by injuries Copyright ? 1999 Nando Media Copyright ? 1999 Agence France-Press TURIN, Italy (March 22, 1999 12:01 p.m. EST http://www.sportserver.com) - Juventus' hopes of beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in the European Champions' League semifinals in two weeks have suffered another blow with an injury to key defender Paolo Montero. Montero sprained a thigh muscle during the second half of Sunday's 1-1 draw with AS Roma and tests on Tuesday are expected to rule him out for at least a month. Montero was in agony as he limped down the players' tunnel and his chances of him recovering by April 7 are minimal. The defender is only the latest injury setback to face Juventus coach Carlo Ancelotti, who already has doubts over French star Zinedine Zidane and international goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi. Zidane is wearing a protective guard over his knee after twisting it during last Wednesday's 1-1 draw in Athens against Olympiakos and is highly doubtful to recover match fitness in time to play at Old Trafford. Peruzzi, who has been ruled out of Italy's Euro 2000 qualifiers over the next 10 days, has knee cartilage trouble. The goalkeeper was on the subs' bench for Sunday's game and club officials fear that only an operation will clear the damage.
Ole Scores the first today [click on pic for Match report]

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