De Futebol Man U Sevilla Tied Nil Nil in the First Leg in Spain of The Round of Sixteen

Man U and Sevilla tied nil -nil in the first at the Spanish sides house. Now it’s back to Old Trafford for the second leg.

The Guardians Sid Lowe:” And so to Old Trafford. Applause rang round the Sánchez Pizjuán. Sevilla had not been able to defeat Manchester United but their supporters recognised they had been close and there is still hope they can reach the quarter-final of this competition for the first time in their history. United, too, may consider this a decent result. Often overrun, two superb saves from David de Gea kept them in a game where goals were absent. A game where to start with Paul Pogba had been absent, too – and that is likely to occupy the next few days almost as much as this performance will.

The game was only 16 minutes in when Ander Herrera pulled up and had to depart; Pogba came on to replace him. Sevilla had started on the front foot and the change did not significantly alter that, although Alexis Sánchez’s lovely ball did find Romelu Lukaku, who volleyed over from close range soon after and Scott McTominay struck Sergio Rico’s palms from 20 yards. Largely, United looked long towards Lukaku and while there were few glimpses of goal the sense of danger was never entirely extinguished.

At one point, Pogba rolled an opponent and began a move that led to Juan Mata dashing up the left, but it was Éver Banega who was having the most notable impact in the middle of midfield. The Argentinian’s favoured ball was speared leftwards for Joaquín Correa. From one of those, Correa drew the first save from David de Gea. On the other side, Sevilla’s converted full-back Jesús Navas bombed up and down, defensively sound, and offensively dangerous.

Sevilla were growing into this game. A swift counter that infuriated José Mourinho broke down when Escudero could not quite guide the ball into the path of Sarabia, but the pressure built, and United’s discomfort was revealed when Lindelof almost played his goalkeeper into trouble. By half-time the shot count read 12-2. The best of those came just before the break, but De Gea made two superb saves. The first, from Steven N’Zonzi’s flick header of Sarabia’s overhead, was tipped over the bar. If that was good, what followed, from Luis Muriel, was better. All around the Pizjuán they could barely believe it. Muriel, head on the turf, couldn’t either; he got to his feet and congratulated the man who had denied him. Nor, it seemed, could Lindelof, who approached his goalkeeper for a grateful word as they walked off.

When they walked backed on, the pattern continued. With Franco Vázquez’s involvement increasing, his touch subtle and assured, and with Sarabia supporting him to the right side, Sevilla continued to press. Within six minutes the corner count was 12-3 – but the count was one thing, the quality of the delivery another.

The shot count rose too, albeit usually from some distance: Vázquez curled over, Muriel’s first effort deflected wide and his second skidded past the near post; a clipped free‑kick found Clément Lenglet barely six yards out, but he could not get sufficient power on his header; and then Correa dribbled into the area, only to slice high and wide. De Gea had few problems from Banega’s free‑kick. He might have had rather more had Muriel, sliding in, been able to reach Sarabia’s ball in.

The game was happening at his end of this arena, where the noise rolled down from the stands. United were being overrun, unable to create opportunities or produce a prolonged period of passes. The space ahead of them was enticing, and both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were introduced to try to exploit that. But while there was pace and space, United still needed to find a way to put the ball into it. It might only take one, but as the game went on there were still none, still less a shot.

Only Sevilla had attempts on goal in the second half, the “score” 21-4 with 10 minutes to go. Few, though, were clear chances. Sarabia, swift to the ball as ever, slipped the ball to Muriel and continued running, heading into space at the far post. Muriel clipped towards him but, stretching, he could only guide his header over the bar. When Vázquez lifted a lovely ball into his path, leaving him one on one, he had strayed offside. As the clock ticked down, so the margins became finer, the risks greater, and suddenly there was a roar.

United had the all in the net. Pogba found Lukaku, who used his hand before scoring. It was ruled out, but there was a warning. With four minutes to go Sandro, on as a sub, saw his shot blocked inside the area and then Navas went tumbling. The appeal was loud, but the referee waved play on. Again, United broke but they were blunt. There were nerves here now, but little else. Old Trafford awaits.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/21/sevilla-manchester-united-champions-league-last-16-first-leg-match-report

De Futebol FA Cup Match ups for The Quarterfinals

A quick note Wigan pulled the upset city of the week. Wigan beat Man Shitty 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.

The FA Cup draw is out for the quarterfinals.

The Guardians Will Unwin: “Manchester United were drawn at home to Brighton in an FA Cup quarter-final draw which saw all the big guns avoid each other on Saturday evening.

Jose Mourinho’s men learned they would face the Seagulls shortly after sealing their place in the last eight with a 2-0 fifth-round win at Huddersfield thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s brace.

Wigan or Manchester City, who meet on Monday night, will host Southampton, while Chelsea visit Leicester and the winners of Sunday’s Rochdale-Tottenham tie will travel to Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea.
Chelsea and Leicester advanced on Friday night, with respective 4-0and 1-0 victories over Hull and Sheffield United.

Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea face a replay after their fifth-round clash at Hillsborough ended goalless on Saturday lunchtime.

The quarter-final ties will be played over the weekend of March 16-19.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2018/feb/17/fa-cup-quarter-final-draw-live

De Futebol Chelsea Wins! The Blues are in Fourth Place!

The Blues righted the ship with a convincing 3-0 blowout win over bottom feeder West Brom.

Chelsea is fourth with 53 points.

Spurs drop to fifth with 52 points.

Arsenal stays in sixth with 45 points.

Man Shitty sits at the head of the class with 72 points.

Man U is second with 56 points.

Liverpool is third with 54 points.

EPL Match Report:” Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win against West Bromwich Albion.

The Blues, seeking to avoid a third successive Premier League defeat, survived a nervy start when Salomon Rondon headed Matty Phillips’ cross wide and Jay Rodriguez sent a glorious chance wide with more time to make sure.

Ben Foster saved brilliantly from Davide Zappacosta and Olivier Giroud before Hazard struck on 25 minutes, with a turn, dribble and one-two with the Frenchman.

Thibaut Courtois thwarted Rondon on 57 minutes and Jonny Evans headed the ensuing corner narrowly over.

But the Blues took control when Moses started and finished a move with Cesc Fabregas on 63 minutes.

Hazard crowned a fine display by cutting in from the right to score his 11th PL goal of the campaign.

Chelsea move a point above Tottenham Hotspur into fourth place. West Brom remain bottom, seven points from safety.”

https://www.premierleague.com/broadcast-schedules

De Futrebol Man U stinks The Joint Out in a 1-0 loss to Toons. Liverpool wins!

Man U stunk the joint out in a 1-0 loss to Newcastle at Toons house. Couple this with Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Southampton the Red Devils lead over the Reds is now two points.

Man Shitty has 72 points.

Man U is second with 56 points.

Liverpool is third with 54 points.

Spurs are fourth with 52 points.

Chelsea is fifth with 50 points however the Blues take on West Brom later today.

EPL Match report on the Red Devils loss:” Matt Ritchie scored the only goal as Newcastle United beat Manchester United for their first league win at St James’ Park since October.

The winger struck on 65 minutes after Florian Lejeune had denied Alexis Sanchez an open goal at the other end.

In the first half David De Gea saved from Jonjo Shelvey and Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on his debut denied Anthony Martial one-on-one.

Ritchie’s first goal of the season came when Lejeune and Dwight Gayle flicked on Shelvey’s deep free-kick for the unmarked Scot to finish.

Man Utd were denied an equaliser by two goal-saving blocks by Gayle and a stoppage-time save by Dubravka.

The win lifts Newcastle out of the relegation zone to 13th. Man Utd remain second, but 16 points behind Manchester City and four ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22606

EPL Match Report on the Reds win:” Liverpool eased past Southampton 2-0 to close to within two points of Manchester United in second.

The visiting team at St Mary’s led after just six minutes when Wesley Hoedt was unable to stop a ball down the channel and Mohamed Salah squared for Roberto Firmino to score.

Southampton responded well with Loris Karius frequently called into action in the Reds goal, but Liverpool went into the break 2-0 up thanks to Firmino’s skill.

His backheel on the edge of the area played in Salah to finish comfortably.

Liverpool eased off in the second half but still threatened more than Southampton, for whom the defeat and other results on Sunday mean they finish the weekend in the relegation zone.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22607

De Futebol Tottenham defeats Arsenal 1-0! Spurs are third for now! Shitty Blows out Leicester City 5-1!

Harry Kane scored the match winner in the 49th minute to beat Arsenal 1-0.  The win lifts Spurs into third place for now with 52 points.

Liverpool is fourth with 51 points.

The Reds battle Southampton later today.

Second place Man U travels to Newcastle later today tambem.

The Daily Mail on the Spurs win:” At times it felt like there was just Petr Cech. There he was, leaping to save from a Christian Eriksen free kick. And there again, sprawling to deny Erik Lamela or pushing away a Kieran Trippier strike. Just one goal separated the teams in this north London derby, but that didn’t tell the full story.

Tottenham, relentless, young and hungry, overwhelmed their opponents at Wembley in the second half. Harry Kane, inevitably, was the man who did take the chance which won the game. But there were several more. So many that nervous Tottenham fans must have felt rueful, fearing what was to come.

But nothing much did come. Arsenal must be pondering the fact that revivals aren’t what they used to be. Everton has proved accommodating guests last weekend, suggesting that the arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitarayan might spark a renaissance.

The newcomers had a more realistic assessment of their club’s predicament here. Arsenal deployed the cavalry. They ended up with six attacking players on the pitch. Yet still you never felt Tottenham losing their grip of this game until, thirty second from the final whistle, when Alexandre Lacazette was played in on goal.

And, then, for one brief moment you could believe Arsenal might be the equal of Spurs. As he connected with his strike, which beat Lloris, the Arsenal fans who had stayed, prepared to celebrate a famous draw. Yet, by a fraction, the ball cleared the far post and Spurs survived. It was truly the only major point of concern.

Tottenham entered a crucial five-game run two weeks ago, said to test their credentials. They face Juventus of Tuesday having taken seven points from Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool and progressed to the FA Cup fifth round. Incrementally, their advance continues. A Champions League quarter final would be another sign they are London’s coming team.

A bright, competitive opening gave way to a half of Tottenham dominance thwarted by Arsenal’s defensive discipline. Kane and Alli combined exquisitely on nine minutes and when Alli tried to play his team-mate back in, Shkodran Mustafi’s necessary interception had Petr Cech scrambling to save.

However, the additional attacking threat Arsenal have added was evident on 13 minutes. Tottenham seemed a little nervous of employing their usual high line and with good reason, given Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is always lurking.

ack Wlshere’s fine, threaded ball played him in and Aubameyang was ruled offside. If he was, it was only his head and it was only just. Certainly he was more onside than last weekend, when allowed to run through and score against Everton.

Thereafter though Arsenal seemed to content to concede possession and employ the kind of solidity they have been criticised for lacking in the past. The selection of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny was the clue; Arsenal would aim to scrap this one out in periods.

It worked for a while. They restricted Tottenham to limited chances. However, the one they had on 26minutes should have opened the scoring. The delivery was just superb by the excellent Christian Eriksen, a bending cross into the path of Harry Kane. He slightly mis-judged his run, rose too high to meet the ball and headed over from six yards out.

Eric Dier almost connected with Mousa Dembele mis-it on 30 minutes but Arsenal were absorbing and frustrating Tottenham. Their only significant moment came when Hector Bellerin skewed a 40th minute shot wide. When they did attempt to counter, there was none of last weekend’s slickness in the interplay between Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil.

Delivered just perfectly into the box, it allowed Kane to evade both Laurent Koscielny and Mustafi, sneaking inbetween the two to head home decisively, the first-half miss now rectified.

Buoyed by the goal, Tottenham began to assert their authority. On 52 minutes Kane glanced a header wide; on 56 minutes he had a thunderous volley pushed away by Cech; on 57 minutes Cech was again called into action to tip away an Eriksen free kick.

Wenger’s response was to attempt to attack with Aubameyang going wide left, Alexandre Lacazette coming on as centre forward, Alex Iwobi playing wide right and Mesut Ozil reverting to the No.10 role. Yet all they could muster was a curling shot from Wlshere on 68 minutes which produced a fine save from Hugo Lloris.

Tottenham though were relentless, yet just not clinical enough. Alli poked a good chance wide of Cech on 72 minutes, Cech was required to pull off a fine save from Lamela on 73 minutes and then, when Eriksen dropped the ball into the path of Kieran Trippier on 76 minutes, the moment seemed to have arrived.

Yet Trippier drove straight at Cech who palmed the ball away. Still, the momentum of the game had been clearly established and Arsenal were just hanging on.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5375609/Tottenham-1-0-Arsenal-Kane-continues-fine-derby-record.html#ixzz56iV52TYu

Everton took apart Crystal Palace 3-1.

The Toffees jumped over Bournemouth into ninth place with 34 points.

The Cherries battle Huddersfield later today. Bournemouth is tenth with 31 points.

Stoke City and Brighton and Hove Albion tied one all.

Swansea City defeated Burnley 1-0.

West Ham shut out Watford 2-0.

Man Shitty and Leicester City were tied at one all after the first half. Shitty broke out the whopping stick with four second half goals from Sergio Aguero to win going away 5-1 over the Foxes.

Shitty has a sixteen-point lead over Man U.

Man Shitty has 72 points while the Red Devils have 56.

Chelsea-West Brom duke it out at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

De Futebol 60th Anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster

The 60th Anniversary of the Munich Air disaster that almost ruined Manchester United.

The Daily Mail:’ February 6 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster, a tragedy etched forever in the history of that city, Manchester United and the football world.

That fateful afternoon in 1958 ultimately claimed the lives of 23 people, including eight members of Matt Busby’s trailblazing team.

It cruelly robbed a generation of football fans of the opportunity to see whether this wonderful football team — nicknamed the ‘Busby Babes’ because of their boundless youthful promise — would conquer Europe in the same way they had England.

The disaster is part of the club’s fabric. Was it fate, or coincidence, that United would again be crowned champions of Europe on what would have been Busby’s 90th birthday in 1999, or again 50 years on from the crash in 2008?

Here, we tell the story of what happened before, on and after that tragic day 60 years ago.

Wednesday December 4, 1957

UEFA had established the European Cup in 1955 and United were ranked among the favourites to win the trophy in the 1957-58 season. They lose 1-0 to Dukla Prague in the first round but advance because of a 3-0 win in the first leg.

Because of foggy conditions in England, they are forced to take a time-consuming and more exhausting route back from Czechoslovakia. They fly to Amsterdam, take the ferry from the Hook of Holland to Harwich, and then the train to Manchester.

The longer trip takes its toll on the players, who can only draw 3-3 at Birmingham City three days later, losing valuable ground in their pursuit of the league title.

Now aware of the side-effects of competing in Europe as well as domestically, the club decides to charter a British European Airways (BEA) plane for future trips.

Tuesday January 14, 1958

Sixty thousand people cram into Old Trafford to watch United beat Red Star Belgrade of Yugoslavia 2-1 in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Busby’s side fall behind in the first half before goals by Bobby Charlton and Eddie Colman turn it around. Still, the tie remains on a knife-edge.

Saturday February 1

The same United team that would line up in Belgrade for the return leg play Arsenal in front of 63,578 spectators at Highbury.

It is a fantastic exhibition of attacking football that sums up the excitement of the Busby Babes.

United beat Arsenal 5-4 in a rollercoaster contest, with goals scored by Tommy Taylor (2), Charlton, Duncan Edwards and Dennis Viollet.

It is the last time many of the players perform on English soil.

Monday February 3

The United party board their charter flight to Belgrade, two days before the match itself, arriving to find low cloud, poor visibility and snow.

The BEA aircraft they use is an Elizabethan class Airspeed Ambassador 2, built in 1952 and called ‘Lord Burleigh’. The pilot is Captain James Thain, a former flight lieutenant in the RAF.

His co-pilot for the trip to Belgrade is Captain Kenneth Rayment, also a former RAF flight lieutenant and a flying ace in the Second World War.

Wednesday February 5

United cruise into a 3-0 lead in just over half an hour at the Stadion JNA. Viollet opens the scoring after just two minutes before Charlton adds two more.

Red Star rally and by the hour-mark have pulled it back to 3-3. United look rattled but manage to hold out against the pressure to advance 5-4 on aggregate.

After the game, a cocktail party is held for the players at the British Embassy in the city.

On the same night, Busby’s assistant Jimmy Murphy, who is also the manager of Wales, takes charge of their World Cup qualifier against Israel. Wales win the match 2-0.

Thursday February 6

United begin the journey home, with thoughts switching to their weekend league engagement. They must travel first from Belgrade to Munich for refuelling because a non-stop flight to Manchester is beyond the range of the Elizabethan.

Departure from Belgrade is delayed by an hour because outside right Johnny Berry misplaces his passport.

1.15pm GMT

The plane lands in Munich. It descends through low cloud and a mixture of rain and snow. But the result and the prospect of an easier journey home than from Prague boosts spirits. They play cards, discuss the news and read books and magazines to pass the time.

Still tired from the match, some of the players catch up on sleep.

2.31pm

The refuelling process finishes. The passengers make their way from the terminal after a cup of coffee, back across the ice to the aircraft.

At 3.31pm local time [2.31pm UK time], Captain Rayment, at the controls because Captain Thain had flown the plane out, radios the control tower to say they are ready for take-off.

The plane lines up on the runway, the engines rev up and everyone prepares for departure. But Rayment abandons the take-off after Thain notices the port side boost pressure gauge is fluctuating abnormally. The engine also gives an odd note while accelerating.

2.34pm

Captain Rayment lines up the aircraft for a second attempt and decides this time he will open the throttle more gradually before releasing the brakes.

But this attempt is called off 40 seconds in with the engines over-accelerating because of the fuel mixture used. It is a common fault with the Elizabethan aircraft.

While they inspect the problem, the passengers are told to disembark and return to the lounge.

Heavy snow starts to fall and the passengers grow increasingly sceptical they will be able to fly that day. A few of the more apprehensive fliers are reluctant to get back on board.

Full-back Bill Foulkes remembered: ‘We’d been playing cards for most of the flight from Belgrade to Munich, and I remember when we left the aircraft thinking how cold it was.

‘We had one attempt at taking off, but didn’t leave the ground, so I suppose a few of those on board would start to worry a little bit, and when the second take-off failed we were pretty quiet when we went back into the lounge.’

Edwards sends a telegram to his landlady back in Manchester: ‘All flights cancelled. Flying Tomorrow.’ But the passengers are told to return to the aircraft. Edwards’ telegram would arrive at 5pm, after the crash.

3.04pm

This time there is an air of nervousness. Foulkes keeps the deck of cards firmly inside his jacket pocket.

He recalled: ‘I was sitting about halfway down the aircraft next to a window, on the right-hand side of the gangway. Our card school was Ken Morgans, who was on my right, and facing us David Pegg and Albert Scanlon.

‘Matt Busby and Bert Whalley were sitting together on the seat behind us and I remember how Mark Jones, Tommy Taylor, Duncan Edwards and Eddie Colman were all at the back.

‘David Pegg got up and moved to the back: “I don’t like it here, it’s not safe,” he said and went off to sit with the other players. I saw big Frank Swift back there too, he also felt that the rear was the safest place to be.

‘There was another card school across the gangway from us, Ray Wood and Jackie Blanchflower were sitting on two of the seats, Roger Byrne, Billy Whelan and Dennis Viollet on the others with one empty seat amongst them.’

On the flight deck, the two captains discuss the engine problems with station engineer William Black. He tells them the boost surging is common at Munich-Riem Airport because of its altitude.

Black suggests holding the plane overnight but Captain Thain is anxious to stay on schedule and suggests opening the throttle even more slowly will do the trick.

Although it means the plane will not reach take-off speed until further down the runway, the pilots do not believe it will be a problem on the 1.2mile-long strip.

The engines are both steady so Captain Rayment releases the brakes and the plane moves forward again. He continues until both captains call ‘full power’.

Captain Thain again notices the signs of boost surging and calls this out to his co-pilot above the intense noise of the engines. But the surging is controlled and the throttle pushed fully open.

‘I glanced at the air speed indicator and saw it registered 105 knots and was flickering,’ recalled Thain. ‘When it reached 117 knots I called out ‘V1’ [Velocity One, the point on the runway after which you can’t safely abandon the take off].

‘Suddenly the needle dropped to about 112 and then 105. Ken shouted, ‘Christ, we can’t make it’ and I looked up from the instruments to see a lot of snow and a house and a tree right in the path of the aircraft.’

Inside the cabin, the passengers witness slush kicking up off the ground and past the windows, then a terrible noise that Foulkes described as ‘like when a car leaves a smooth road and starts to run over rough ground.’

The aircraft leaves the runway, smashes through a fence and crosses a road. The port wing strikes a house, ripping it and part of the tail away from the fuselage. The house catches fire.

The cockpit strikes a tree, while the starboard side of the fuselage hits a wooden hut containing a truck loaded with fuel and tyres. This explodes on impact.

Twenty of the passengers die instantly.

They were United players Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Coleman, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan; United club secretary Walter Crickmer; trainer Tom Curry; chief coach Bert Whalley; cabin steward Tom Cable; journalists Alf Clarke (Manchester Evening Chronicle), Donny Davies (Manchester Guardian), George Follows (Daily Herald), Tom Jackson (Manchester Evening News), Archie Ledbrooke (Daily Mirror), Henry Rose (Daily Express) and Eric Thompson (Daily Mail); travel agent Bela Miklos; and Willie Satinoff, United fan and a friend of Busb

The immediate aftermath

Foulkes, who had braced himself for an impact after sensing something was wrong, hears an enormous bang, then loses consciousness. He wakes to see a gaping hole in front of him.

‘The back of the aircraft had just disappeared. I got out as quickly as I could and just ran and ran. Then I turned and realised that the plane wasn’t going to explode, and I went back.

‘In the distance I could see the tail part of the aircraft blazing and as I ran back I came across bodies. Roger Byrne still strapped to his seat, Bobby Charlton lying quite still in another seat, and Dennis Viollet. Then Harry Gregg appeared and we tried to see what we could do to help.’

Gregg, also knocked unconscious, comes round believing he is dead. Feeling blood on his face he ‘didn’t dare put my hand up. I thought the top of my head had been taken off, like a hard-boiled egg.’

Thain orders his crew to evacuate, fearing the plane will explode. The stewardesses, Rosemary Cheverton and Margaret Bellis, leave through an emergency window that has been blown out, followed by radio officer Bill Rodgers.

Rayment is trapped in his seat by the crumpled shell of the plane. He tells Thain to go without him.

Thain, worried flames underneath the starboard wing would ignite the 2,300 litres of fuel contained within, nevertheless grabs two handheld fire extinguishers in an effort to stop the spread of the flames.

‘You could not see into the cabin, it was sort of squashed,’ said Cheverton in a recent interview. ‘I was jolted out of my seat and out of my shoes. And then we came to a standstill and it was very hushed and quiet.

‘I know the pilot got back in and got some fire extinguishers, which he and the radio officer were using. There may have been a small fire and we had just refuelled so they wanted to put out anything that would cause a bigger explosion.

‘I did not have any shoes and there was snow on the ground and it was very cold, but I didn’t even feel it.’

Despite being warned it was too dangerous, Gregg, having kicked a hole through which to escape, returns to save some passengers.

Ambulances arrive. Busby, severely hurt, is carried away on a stretcher. Charlton is helped into a minibus, where he is sat alongside Violett in the front while other survivors are picked up.

They are taken to the Rechts de Isar hospital in the city. Frank Swift, the former England and Manchester City goalkeeper turned News of the World journalist, loses his fight for life en route to hospital. The death toll is now 21.

3.30pm

News reaches Alma George, Busby’s secretary, in her office at Old Trafford. She tearfully informs Murphy, just back from Cardiff. He doesn’t register her words at first, making for the solitude of his office.

‘The words seemed to ring in my head,’ he later recalled. ‘My head was in a state of confusion and I started to cry.’

4pm

Most of the Manchester evening newspapers’ early City editions have already gone to the presses when their newsroom teleprinters stamp out the horrifying words: ‘Manchester United aircraft crashed on take-off… heavy loss of life feared.’

The report is unconfirmed but makes the stop press column of the late city editions of the Chronicle and the News.

The news starts filtering out onto the streets of Manchester.

Murphy regains his composure and assumes responsibility for telephoning the next of kin with United assistant secretary Les Olive. They have to wait several minutes to get an outgoing line, such is the volume of people calling the club seeking clarification on the news.

Chief scout Joe Armstrong is sent out in a taxi to check on relatives. Many of them have gone to Manchester Airport to welcome the team home in triumph, as have many supporters and Busby’s wife, Jean.

BEA Flight 609 is scheduled to land at Manchester Airport at 5pm. But the jubilant mood of those wives, girlfriends and fans gives way to apprehension when a crackly PA message summons them to the BEA desk.

They are told there has been a serious accident, but full details are not known. Jean Busby collapses in tears, the wives and girlfriends of the players clutch each other.

5pm

Those in the United Kingdom lucky enough to have a television set are switching on for Children’s Hour on the BBC. But they see newsreader Richard Baker saying: ‘And the reason you’ve come over to the news studio is that we have to report a serious air crash at Munich Airport.

‘We haven’t full details yet, but the aircraft that has crashed is an Elizabethan. It was on charter from British European Airways and travelling from Belgrade to Manchester.

‘On board was the Manchester United football team returning from the World Cup [sic] match in Yugoslavia. Twenty-five of the passengers and crew are believed to have died.’

5pm, in Munich

Busby, who has fractured ribs, a punctured lung and leg injuries, receives the last rites. The hospital say: ‘We do not have much hope of saving him.’

6pm

The nation tunes their wireless sets to the BBC Home Service, hoping for more information. An unemotional BBC newsreader says the chilling words: ‘Here is the news. An airliner carrying the Manchester United football team crashed in Germany this afternoon’ before proceeding to other headlines about proceedings in parliament and fines for pollution from chimneys.

Once further detail arrives, the newsreader lists all the members of the United party who had gone to Belgrade. The report says that Gregg, Foulkes and Charlton have possibly survived but added: ‘It is not possible to say yet what has happened to most of them.’

Millions up and down the land eat their tea in stunned silence.

6.30pm

Manchester is paralysed by shock. The news stands reading ‘United in the semis again’ have been replaced by ones that read in thick bold letters ‘United Disaster’ and ‘United plane crash’.

People wait on street corners, hoping for good news or seeking confirmation that their worst fears are true. Machinery in factories grind to a halt as workers gather around the radio for updates.

Nobby Stiles, then an apprentice at United, grabs a paper as he heads to Old Trafford for duties such as cleaning the boots of the first-teamers.

Yet here they are staring out at him from the front page – Byrne, Bent, Colman, Pegg, Taylor, Whelan, Jones. The dead.

Stiles thinks ‘surely Eddie can’t be dead’ – contrary to the headlines. He had just scrubbed his boots.

9pm

As the evening wore on, the true extent of the tragedy becomes apparent through the radio and television bulletins.

In London, Daily Mail photographer Peter Howard, who had escaped from the wreckage, telephones through an account of the crash to his desk.

He describes how the plane rolled and that there wasn’t time to think, before ‘just a deadly silence.’

The nine o’clock radio bulletin includes a reaction from the Football League. The match with Wolves, scheduled for that Saturday, is postponed.

The other 90 clubs in the League will play their matches as scheduled but observe a two minutes’ silence. Flags will be flown at half-mast and black armbands worn.

The day after

Britain wakes to their morning newspapers. Pictures of the tragedy and those who have perished are on every front page.

The Daily Express headline reads: ‘Shattered in one dramatic second – The finest soccer team since the war.’ The Daily Mail splashes on Howard’s dramatic account.

The bodies of the deceased are flown back to Manchester and lie overnight in the gym at Old Trafford before being collected by their families for the funerals.

On the gates outside the stadium hangs the message: ‘Training cancelled’.

It was not until the following day that the scale of the tragedy hits home for walking wounded Foulkes and Gregg.

‘We went in and saw Matt in an oxygen tent, and Duncan Edwards, who seemed to be badly hurt. Bobby Charlton had a bandaged head, Jackie Blanchflower was nursing a badly gashed arm which had been strapped up by Harry Gregg in the snow of the night before,’ Foulkes said afterwards.

‘Albert Scanlon lay with his eyes closed, he had a fractured skull, and Dennis Viollet had a gashed head and facial injuries. Ray Wood’s face was cut and he had concussion and Ken Morgans and Johnny Berry lay quite still in their beds.

‘I spoke to a nurse and she told me that she thought Duncan had a better chance of making a full recovery than Johnny did…

‘We came across Frank Taylor in another bed; he was the only journalist around and he asked if we’d like to have a beer with him. Like us, he didn’t know the full implications of what had happened the afternoon before.

‘We were about to leave the hospital when I asked a nurse where we should go to see the other lads. She seemed puzzled so I asked her again: ‘Where are the other survivors?’

‘Others? There are no others, they are all here.’ It was only then that we knew the horror of Munich. The Busby Babes were no more.’

Saturday February 8

Manchester is flooded with rumours that Busby has lost his fight for life. Crowds gather around the offices of the Manchester Evening News and the Manchester Evening Chronicle.

Eventually, the Rechts der Isar hospital puts out a statement: ‘The reports are entirely false. They do not come from us.’

The six o’clock radio bulletin that night reports that five of the 15 still in hospital are seriously ill.

That afternoon, Old Trafford, ordinarily packed with up to 60,000 fans watching a match, stands deserted, a chill wind blowing snow and sleet across it.

Saturday February 15

A scheduled FA Cup fifth-round tie with Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford is postponed out of respect to the dead.

Sunday February 16

Murphy takes control of the side. Busby, still fighting for his life, tells Murphy to ‘keep the flag flying.’

Monday February 17

Murphy, aided by former United goalkeeper Jack Crompton, makes a number of emergency signings to ensure United can put out a team.

They include Stan Crowther from Aston Villa and Ernie Taylor from Blackpool. Three players, Derek Lewin, Bob Hardisty and Warren Bradley, are signed on short-term contracts from non-League club Bishop Auckland. Reserve players Shay Brennan and Mark Pearson are promoted into the first team.

Wednesday February 19

United ride a tide of emotion at Old Trafford to beat Wednesday 3-0 in the rearranged tie. Brennan scores twice and Alex Dawson also nets in front of 59,848 fans at a sombre Old Trafford.

The front cover of the match programme features a message from the club chairman beneath the title ‘United will go on…’

It reads: ‘An unprecedented blow to British football has touched the hearts of millions and we express our deep gratitude to the many who have sent messages of sympathy and floral tributes.

‘Wherever football is played United is mourned, but we rejoice that many of our party have been spared and wish them a speedy and complete recovery.

‘Although we mourn our dead and grieve for our wounded we believe that great days are not done for us.

‘The road back may be long and hard but with the memory of those who died at Munich, of their stirring achievements and wonderful sportsmanship ever with us, Manchester United will rise again.’

These programmes feature a blank United teamsheet because nobody knows in advance who United will field.

Friday February 21

Edwards dies of his injuries at 2.16am. The loss is a particularly cruel blow. Just 21 when he died, Edwards is already one of the finest footballers England has ever produced. In his career of five years, he helped United to two league titles and won 18 England caps.

He suffered multiple leg fractures, fractured ribs and severely damaged kidneys. A kidney transplant in hospital reduces his blood’s ability to clot, causing internal bleeding.

Despite his strength sapping, Edwards says to Murphy, who flew out to assess the damage to the team: ‘What time is the kick off against Wolves, Jimmy? I mustn’t miss that match.’

He is buried in his hometown of Dudley five days later. Five thousand people line the streets.

Friday February 28

Captain Rayment succumbs to his injuries, taking the death toll to its final total of 23.

In all, 21 survived the crash. They were United players Johnny Berry (who never played again), Jackie Blanchflower (never played again), Bobby Charlton, Bill Foulkes, Harry Gregg, Kenny Morgans, Albert Scanlon, Dennis Viollet and Ray Wood; manager Matt Busby; stewardesses Margaret Bellis and Rosemary Cheverton, radio officer Bill Rodgers and captain James Thain; News Chronicle reporter Frank Taylor; Daily Mail telegraphist Ted Ellyard; Daily Mail photographer Peter Howard; Eleanor Miklos, the wife of Bela; Nebojsa Bato Tomasevic, a Yugoslavian diplomat; and Vera Lukic, wife of a Yugoslavian diplomat and her baby daughter, Vesna, both pulled from the wreckage by Gregg.

Saturday March 8

A recorded message by Busby is played before United’s home match with West Brom. He is now well enough to be moved to Interlaken in Switzerland to recuperate with his wife.

Reports from the day said: ‘women wept as the tape-recorded voice echoed across a packed and silent Old Trafford.’

Friday April 18

Now 71 days after the crash, Busby returns to Manchester via rail and sea. He would resume as United manager at the beginning of the following season

Saturday May 3

Before the FA Cup final with Bolton Wanderers at Wembley, Busby makes his way to the bench with the aid of a walking stick.

United wear shirts that feature a phoenix rising from the flames, but they are beaten 2-0 in the day in front of 100,000 fans.

Wednesday May 14

United’s run in the European Cup comes to an end at the semi-final stage as they are beaten 4-0 by Milan to exit 5-2 on aggregate.

The FA decline UEFA’s offer of a place for United in the following season’s competition, with Wolves, the League champions, flying the flag for England.

Real Madrid, who would go on to win the trophy for the third successive year, suggest that United should be awarded the cup, something supported by Red Star Belgrade. But the gesture doesn’t come to fruition.

10 years later

Captain Thain was initially blamed for the crash by the German airport authorities and it took 10 years to clear his name.

Legal action against him claimed he had attempted to take off without clearing the wings of ice and this caused the crash, despite several witnesses stating there was no ice on the wings.

Eventually, British authorities recorded the cause as a build-up of melting snow on the runway that prevented the plane reaching the required take-off speed.

Wednesday May 29, 1968

A decade on from the Munich disaster and Busby, having built another outstanding team featuring the likes of Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, leads United to the final of the European Cup.

Charlton and Foulkes are the two Munich survivors in the United team as they beat Benfica 4-1 after extra-time at Wembley. Charlton scores twice, with further goals by Best and Brian Kidd.

United are the first English team to win the European Cup. Busby has triumph after the disaster.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5335167/Munich-air-disaster-60th-anniversary-story.html#ixzz56NtXZ0Hk

De Futebol Chelsea got the Crap Beat out them by Watford

Chelsea got the crap beat out of them by Watford. The Hornets destroyed the Blues 4-1 at Vicarage Road.

This was an old-fashioned butt whopping the Hornets administered to the Blues.  Sure, Chelsea was down to ten men after the genius Tiemoue Bakayoko got his second yellow card in the 30th minute. Brilliant play was the order of the day for Chelsea. The result a 4-1 ass kicking proving how smart the Blues are playing.

EPL Match Report:” On his home debut after signing from Barcelona on loan, Gerard Deulofeu inspired Watford to a first win in six Premier League matches, beating 10-man Chelsea 4-1.

Watford started brightly at Vicarage Road and were helped by Chelsea’s Tiemoue Bakayoko being sent off on the half-hour for a second yellow card.

They took the lead through Troy Deeney’s penalty just before half-time following a foul on Deulofeu.

Eden Hazard equalised on 82 minutes with a wonderful strike but, two minutes later, Watford led again through Daryl Janmaat.

Watford scored twice more as Chelsea chased a second equaliser. Deulofeu finished off a counter-attack while Roberto Pereyra claimed the fourth.

Watford stay 11th but moved six points off the bottom three. Chelsea remain in fourth, one point behind Liverpool and one ahead of Spurs.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22600

De Futebol Arsenal Blows Out Everton 5-1!

Arsenal kicks ass and takes name in a 5-1 blowout win over Everton.

The Guardians Barney Ronay wrote:” Well, that didn’t take long. For Arsenal this was an evening of instant ignition, a 5-1 win that scarcely reflected their superiority against a meek and muddled Everton.

Arsène Wenger had enjoyed one of his more frantic January transfer windows, the doors of the Emirates revolving like the barrels on a Las Vegas slot machine. On a chilly north London day the fruits of those toils clicked beautifully into place. Most notably Henrikh Mkhitaryan produced a wonderfully deft display of attacking craft, creating three of Arsenal’s goals, while Aaron Ramsey rampaged unimpeded in central midfield and scored the first hat-trick of his career.

There were riches all over the pitch. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on his debut and showed signs of the supercharged speed he still has in reserve, the kind of speed that alters the entire feel of a game, and which Arsenal have lacked in a centre-forward since Thierry Henry left. Behind Aubameyang the re-signed Mesut Özil played like he had just woken up surrounded by the most wonderful array of birthday presents.

Even before kick-off there were elements of the Premier League at its brash, shopaholic best, with intriguing nuggets of rejig and relocation shot through both sides. Eliaquim Mangala made his debut for Everton while his team-mate Theo Walcott was applauded warmly on his return.

For Arsenal the new challenge of finding the space to cram in all their mature attacking galácticos saw Mkhitaryan and Özil providing a dreamy-looking creative fulcrum alongside the muscular prompts of Alex Iwobi. It all fell into place. The first half in particular had a sheen of quick-passing perfection as Everton were repeatedly scythed apart, albeit an Everton who seemed to have forgotten not just how to defend, but that defending existed as a concept in the first place. Afterwards Sam Allardyce described his team’s performance as “pathetic” and “crap”, complaining bitterly of the inability of his players to follow a gameplan.

Instead the traffic flowed one way, beginning with a beautifully worked goal after six minutes. Özil played a neat pass into Aubameyang, who laid the ball out to Mkhitaryan on the right. From his low cross Ramsey had space to tuck the ball home at his leisure. It was a goal that had some of that deceptive old Arsenal ease about it, the high-speed passing football Wenger is so keen to return to. And so it went on.

With 13 minutes gone Aubameyang had his first sight of goal, his shot from Ramsey’s cross blocked by a sprawling challenge. From Özil’s corner Shkodran Mustafi flicked on and Laurent Koscielny was free, almost on the line, to dive and head in the second.

Instead the traffic flowed one way, beginning with a beautifully worked goal after six minutes. Özil played a neat pass into Aubameyang, who laid the ball out to Mkhitaryan on the right. From his low cross Ramsey had space to tuck the ball home at his leisure. It was a goal that had some of that deceptive old Arsenal ease about it, the high-speed passing football Wenger is so keen to return to. And so it went on.

With 13 minutes gone Aubameyang had his first sight of goal, his shot from Ramsey’s cross blocked by a sprawling challenge. From Özil’s corner Shkodran Mustafi flicked on and Laurent Koscielny was free, almost on the line, to dive and head in the second.

Everton began the second half with a surge of Sam-driven energy. For a while they swarmed over Arsenal’s midfield as the home team looked a little sleepy and sated. Oumar Niasse hit a post but really should have scored, sliding on to Walcott’s low cross and colliding heavily with Petr Cech. They deservedly pulled one back, the substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin planting a fine header past Cech from Yannick Bolasie’s cross. Cech left the field injured shortly afterwards, suffering from his collision with Niasse.

Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin had been key for Everton in that period, as the visitors finally began to compress the spaces in central midfield. Ramsey demonstrated the other side of this on 74 minutes, striding forward and pinging a low shot past Pickford to complete his hat-trick from another perfectly weighted Mkhitaryan cross. With the decks cleared of malcontents and an infusion of high-class blood this felt like a fresh start to the season for Arsenal.

Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang in particular, so familiar from their Dortmund days, performed like a genuinely alluring bolt-on attacking part. The question from here, with ground to make up, is how far this regeared team can ride that thrilling early wave.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/03/arsenal-everton-premier-league-match-report

De Futebol Liverpool and Spurs Tie! Newcastle and Crystal Palace tie!

Liverpool and Tottenham tied two all at Anfield.  The tie lifts the Reds into third place with 51 points. Spurs stay parked in fifth place with 49 points. Chelsea slips to fourth place with 50 points.

Newcastle and Crystal Palace tied one all.

The Blues and Watford duke it out later today.

EPL Match Report:” Harry Kane struck his 100th Premier League goal with a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time as Tottenham Hotspur rescued a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in a frantic finale at Anfield.

Liverpool thought they had won the match through Mohamed Salah’s superb goal in the first minute of added time.

That goal came just four minutes after Kane had seen a penalty that would have put Spurs 2-1 up saved by Loris Karius.

Salah had opened the scoring after 134 seconds, pouncing on Eric Dier’s misplaced pass for his 20th Premier League goal of the season.

After the break Spurs took the game to Liverpool and Victor Wanyama equalised on 80 minutes with a powerful shot from 20 metres.

The draw sends Liverpool a point above Chelsea in third, while Spurs are a point behind the Blues, who play Watford tomorrow.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22598

De Futebol Man Shitty Tied by Burnley. Man U wins! Shitty Lead is Cut to Thirteen Points over The Red Devils!

Man Shitty jumped out to a quick one nil lead over Burnley at the Clarets house.  Danilo let one rip in the 22nd minute to give Shitty the 1-0 lead. Burnley didn’t give up. The Clarets equalized in the 82nd minute. Johann Berg Gudmundsson tickled the twines to earn a one all draw with Man Shitty.

This result gives Man U, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea hope of catching the runaway freight train Man Shitty.

Shitty has 69 points.

Man U picked up a hard fought 2-0 win over Huddersfield at Old Trafford. The Red Devils scored two second half goals Romelu Lukaku 55th minute and Alexis Sanchez poked home the PK miss in the 68th minute for the 2-0 win.

The win cuts the Shitty lead over Man U to thirteen points.

The Red Devils have 56 points.

Third place and fourth place Chelsea trail Man U by six points.

The Reds battle Spurs at Anfield later today

Chelsea and Watford hook up tomorrow at the Hornets house.

EPL Match Report:” Alexis Sanchez marked his home debut with a goal as Manchester United returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town.

Jose Mourinho made four changes to the side that lost at Tottenham Hotspur, including leaving out Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial at Old Trafford.

It paid dividends on 55 minutes when Juan Mata crossed for Romelu Lukaku to steer in his 12th goal of the Premier League season.

Sanchez doubled the lead 12 minutes later, winning a penalty and scoring on the rebound after Jonas Lossl had initially denied the Chilean.

The result means second-place United took advantage of Manchester City’s draw at Burnley, cutting the gap to the leaders to 13 points.

Huddersfield, who are eight matches without a win, drop into the relegation zone.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22599

Bournemouth fell behind one nil to Stoke City. The Cherries scored two goals in the final twenty minutes. Joshua King 70th minute and Lys Mouset 79th minute found the back of the net to earn a 2-1 win over the Potters.

Brighton and Hove Albion blew out West Ham 3-1.

Leicester City scored first off, the strong left foot of Jamie Vardy in the 17th minute only give the up the equalizer in the 53rd minute. Federico Fernández poked home the rock to lift the Swans to a one all draw against the Foxes.

Southampton sprinted out a 3-1 lead over West Brom. The Baggies made it interesting with a score in the 72nd minute. Salomón Rondón nailed it to cut the gap to 3-2.

The Saints hung on for the 3-2 win.

Arsenal kicked Everton’s butts 5-1.