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All Things Footie | Tuesday, September 18 | Jordan

Lucky Boys

I think it would be fair to say that United were a little fortunate to come out of tonight's encounter against Lille with all three points. It was essentially an even game, both sides had a fairly equal share of attacking play and more surprisingly - the ball in general. The only thing separating the teams being some truly suicidal defending from the otherwise outstanding back four of the French club's line up.

At either end the back lines were marshalled by fine performances, Pascal Cygan and Wes Brown standing out in particular. Wes Brown admirably held off a number of spirited attacks from the impressive Dagui Bakari, though he was skinned once (along with the unusually quiet Roy Keane - who's distribution was diabolical by the way).

Fernando D'Amico put in a considerably more impressive performance than his countryman and slightly more widely recognised opponent Juan Sebastian Veron. A large percentage of United's midfield were strangely subdued for the most part, especially for a home tie, with the incorrigible David Beckham seemingly the only inspiration.

A big word for the surprise package on the pitch though, and man of the match in my opinion, Grégory Wimbée (the Lille goalkeeper). He was most impressive as the man responsible for several great saves, the highlight being stopping a Veron scorcher that was dipping and swerving all over the place. However it was pleasing to see a 'keeper who wasn't afraid to come for dangerous balls, catch them and keep hold of the ball - are you watching Sander Westerveld.

Unlucky Bhoys

You've got to feel sorry for Celtic though. Two nil down to an outstanding Juventus team, Marcelo Salas was mesmorising for David Trezeguet's first goal and Celtic were truly at sixes and sevens. A goal later and no doubt some harsh words from Martin O'Neill and Celtic were back in it, at two all they must have thought it was their day. Lord only knows what the ref was thinking when he awarded that penalty to Juve' in the closing minutes of the game.

A high ball is lofted over, landing about 10 yards in front of Nicola Amoruso, he snags his shirt on a defender and goes down with all the grace of a sack of potatoes. Aggreived isn't the word. Juventus undoubtably have one of the best squads in Europe and a first team to rival any but whilst Serie A and the Italian game in general is plagued with players falling like card towers they won't get the respect they perhaps deserve.

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