Middlesbrough forced Manchester United to work hard at Old Trafford before conceding a 1-0 loss. After missing a series of chances, Dimitar Berbatov spared their blushes with the only goal. The Bulgarian volleyed home from close range in the 69th minute after Michael Carrick's left-wing cross had bounced back off Boro defender David Wheater.
Berbatov, who replaced Boxing Day's match-winner at Stoke Carlos Tevez after he returned to Argentina on a ''family issue'', was one of the guilty culprits in the first hour of the match. But he was not the only one with Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael, Nemanja Vidic and Park Ji-sung all squandering chances against a determined Middlesbrough side. United may have won with just one goal but managed to keep Premier League leaders Liverpool within their radar.


A late goal by Carlos Tevez ensured Manchester United returned to Premier League action with a 1-0 win at Stoke City. The home side had earlier been reduced to 10 men with Andy Wilkinson picking up two yellows.
The striker scored the vital goal with seven minutes remaining to end Stoke`s brave resistance, shortly after Andy Wilkinson was ordered off. However it took United a while to get going after they only arrived back on Monday from Japan.


Nemanja Vidic will miss Manchester United's Champions League clash with Inter Milan at the San Siro after being sent off in the final of the Club World Cup against LDU Quito. The Serbian was shown a straight red card for elbowing Claudio Bieler in the second half of the Red Devils' 1-0 win on Sunday and under FIFA rules the subsequent suspension is carried over to the next match of the club's federation.
In this case that means the next match in a UEFA competition and rules Vidic out the European Champion's trip to Milan on February 24, 2009. A FIFA spokesman confirmed that he will get at least a one match ban. However, with FIFA still to ratify the exact punishment, Vidic could face up to a three match ban. That would rule the centre-back out of the entire Champions League tie with Inter and possibly the first leg of the quarter-final should United overcome Jose Mourinho's men.


Rio Ferdinand hopes a motivational team-talk from Sir Alex Ferguson will prove to be 'a defining point' in Manchester United's season. United lifted the Club World Cup on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Liga de Quito in Japan and Ferdinand admits Ferguson made the players aware of the significance of the game.
The centre-half revealed the United manager warned the Premier League and European champions that losing in the Club World Cup final would have a negative effect on their campaign.


Ten man United clinched the world title in Japan. A second-half strike from Wayne Rooney handed Manchester United a deserved 1-0 victory over LDU Quito in the Fifa Club World Cup Final at the Yokohama Stadium. The UEFA Champions League holders dominated the first half but were unable to break the deadlock as goalkeeper Jose Cevallos was called into action on several occasions.
The Red Devils were dealt a setback four minutes after the interval when centre-back Nemanja Vidic was handed a straight red card by referee Ravshan Irmatov for catching Claudio Bieler with his elbow. South American club champions LDU Quito began to make their numerical advantage pay but they were undone on 73 minutes as Rooney smashed home the winner after he was teed up by Cristiano Ronaldo.


Two goals from Wayne Rooney after a late introduction send Manchester United to the Club World Cup final meeting with LDU Quito on Sunday. Earlier, United had already established superiority over Gamba Osaka thanks to first-half headers from Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo. Rooney's arrival led to a frenzied spell of six goals in 18 minutes, the England man netting either side of a Darren Fletcher effort as the Red Devils kept spirited Gamba resistance at bay.
Gamba Osaka responded with Masato Yamazaki effort after the first 2 goals, but Rooney and Fletcher buried them further. The Japanese side tried another comeback with goals from Yasuhito Endo and Hideo Hashimoto, but time has really ran out of them.


Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will not face any disciplinary action over his apparent stamp on Aalborg's Kasper Risgard during a Champions League clash at Old Trafford last week. The pair tangled after a tackle and Rooney appeared to land on the AaB midfielder's chest in the aftermath but UEFA ruled any contact was accidental rather than malicious.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have decided not to appeal against Patrice Evra's four-match ban for a post-match fracas at Stamford Bridge last season. The French full-back was handed the punishment by the FA almost two weeks ago, stunning Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, after examination of the case, United have decided not to take the matter further. It had been believed that they had asked for transcripts of the FA's judgement. It appears unlikely Evra could win an appeal given he had already admitted he was at fault for the incident at Stamford Bridge involving Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell.


Heurelho Gomes was the hero at White Hart Lane as he saved a last minute freekick that earned Tottenham Hotspurs a goalless draw against champions, Manchester United. The Brazilian produced a fingertip save to turn away a Giggs freekick that was going to creep in as United desperately searched for a winner to ensure they left for Club World Cup duty in happy mood.
It left the Red Devils rueing their failure to take advantage of second-half superiority and opened the door for Chelsea to surge clear in the Barclays Premier League title race by beating West Ham tomorrow. Dimitar Berbatov will have been particularly disappointed at his failure to make an impact, which just gave the Spurs fans more reason to cheer.


Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite again to win another major honour after being included on the shortlist for the FIFA World Player of the Year award. The Red Devil has been nominated alongside Lionel Messi, Xavi, Kaka and Fernando Torres.
Ronaldo scored 42 goals and scooped the Premier League title and European Cup with United last season whilst Torres and Xavi won Euro 2008 with Spain.  However, regular contenders Kaka and Messi didn't win any silverware in 2008.
The shortlist has been complied after coaches and team captains from around the world were asked to vote for their top choice and it is the first year five players, rather than three, have been named. The winner will be announced at a glitzy gala at the Zurich Opera House on January 12.


Edwin Van der Sar has signed a new deal with Manchester United which will keep him at the club until 2010. The Dutch keeper has agreed a one-year contract extension, an agreement which will see him clock up five years' service at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson certainly appears to have no intention of dropping the Dutchman, having expressed his delight at persuading the 38-year-old to commit his future to the club.
The veteran shot-stopper has been a revelation since arriving from Fulham in 2005, helping the Red Devils claim back-to-back Premier League titles, a League Cup success and the UEFA Champions League crown. He has also helped to bring stability to the troublesome keeping conundrum at United, with a number of his predecessors having failed to plug the sizeable void left by Peter Schmeichel's departure in 1999.


Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists the club will be doing their utmost to win the Fifa Club World Cup. The English and European champions will fly to Japan next week as they bid to claim the world crown.
Ferguson guided his side to the title in 1999 - when it was known as the InterContinental Cup and involved just a one of match between the European and South American champions.
Now the tournament sees a group phase before the final as the champions of every continent compete for the title in Japan. Despite the schedule coming in the middle of United's Premier League campaign, Ferguson has no plans to use an under-strength squad in the Far East.


Manchester United secured top spot in Group E after equalling a record of 19th  unbeaten Champions League game, even though victory over Aalborg eluded them at Old Trafford as the game finished 2-2.
Carlos Tevez scored his fifth goal in a week after just three minutes put the Red Devils on the driving seat. But an unexpected first-half response from the visitors left United trailing at the interval. Although Wayne Rooney levelled, the hosts could not find a winner.


Newly-crowned Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo insists he is
loving life at Manchester United and hopes to collect many more awards
at Old Trafford.

The Manchester United winger was named as Kaka's successor in the
early hours of Tuesday morning and was presented with the trophy in a
televised ceremony.

Ronaldo, who was the subject of much speculation this summer over a
possible move to Real Madrid, was delighted to finally get his hands
on the Ballon d'Or and has vowed to fire his club to more success this


Nemanja Vidic snatched a dramatic 1-0 victory for Manchester United in Sunderland's first game since the departure of Roy Keane. The Black Cats, who had fallen into the bottom three after losing five of their last six games, looked set to be rewarded for a spirited display with a vital point.
They had withstood everything United had thrown at them, while Cristiano Ronaldo had also been forced off due to injury midway through the second half. However, Vidic turned the ball home in the first minute of injury-time to keep United six points behind league leaders Liverpool.


Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo was poised to join Arsenal before he accepted an offer to sign for Manchester United in 2003. The winger, recently crowned European Footballer of the Year, has admitted his admiration for Gunners' boss Arsene Wenger and revealed how close he came to becoming part of the squad at the Emirates.
However, United's offer of £12.24 million was three times that of Arsenal's, and Sporting Lisbon had no choice but to accept.  Ronaldo said that he met Arsene on three occasions and one of those times was with his mum who wanted to hear what the Gunners' boss was proposing. Since then, Wenger remains someone that he admired and believes that the french manager is a really intelligent football guy.


Carlos Tevez seized his opportunity to fire Manchester United to a 5-3 victory against Blackburn and reach the Carling Cup semi-finals. With his Old Trafford future at stake, Tevez has no regard for the fixture backlog piling up for Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Argentinian scored a total of 4 goals after Nani scoring the second goal of the night. Carlos Tevez hailed a night to remember as he claimed the first four-goal haul of his career.


Cristiano Ronaldo is celebrating ''one of the most beautiful days of
my life'' after being award the prestigious Ballon d'Or on Tuesday.
The Manchester United and Portugal winger who inspired United to the
Champions League and Premier League double this year, was named as the
World Player of The Year ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi and
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

77 out of 96 top journalists voted Ronaldo as their number one player
this year and every one placed him in their top five after he scored
42 goals in United's trophy-laden season. He polled an impressive 446
points from a maximum 480, finishing comfortably ahead of
second-placed Messi (281) and third-placed Torres (179).

The 23-year-old becomes the third Portuguese player to lift the famous
trophy, after legendary pair Eusebio and Luis Figo. Beside being the
first Premier League player since Michael Owen in 2001 to land the
award, Ronaldo also becomes the fourth Red Devil to take the gong
after Denis Law (1964), Bobby Charlton (1966) and George Best (1968).


Manchester United secured local bragging rights on Sunday as they
ground out a 1-0 win over neighbours Manchester City at Eastlands.
Wayne Rooney's solitary strike towards the end of the first half
proved to be enough, despite the Red Devils having Cristiano Ronaldo
sent off.

The visitors dominated possession from the off, creating the better of
the chances and forcing City onto the back foot. Rooney, Ronaldo and
Dimitar Berbatov all went close, with Joe Hart enduring a difficult
afternoon in the City goal.

It appeared that neither side would be able to force a breakthrough
before the interval, only for Hart to then parry a low Michael Carrick
effort straight to the feet of Rooney on 42 minutes. The Blues' cause
was then handed a timely boost on 68 minutes when Ronaldo was shown a
second yellow card following a bizarre handball incident, but they
were unable to restore parity.