Nani, the Manchester United winger, dribbles his way past West Bromwich Albion’s Paul Scharner as United threw away a two-goal lead against the visitors yesterday.
Nani, the Manchester United winger, dribbles his way past West Bromwich Albion’s Paul Scharner as United threw away a two-goal lead against the visitors yesterday.

Schoolboy errors cost United


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Manchester United 2 // West Bromwich 2

Man United Hernandez 05', Nani 25'
West Brom Evra (og) 50', Tchoyi 55'
Man of the match Nani (Manchester United)

MANCHESTER // Comebacks used to be Manchester United's specialist subject. Rather than a source of pride now, however, they are grounds to rue missed opportunities.

For the third time this season, a lead was lost, points squandered and Sir Alex Ferguson left lamenting the new-found fragility of his side.

But West Bromwich Albion are fast establishing a reputation for upsetting their supposed superiors. Winning 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium last month against Arsenal looked a one-off. Instead it proved the prelude to a memorable fightback at Old Trafford.

Two goals adrift at the interval, they rallied remarkably to salvage a point and threaten victory. If every underdog has its day, Albion have had two against members of the "Big Four".

A Patrice Evra own goal was followed by a Somen Tchoyi strike, both proof of character from the promoted team, but both eminently avoidable from a United perspective.

Five minutes into the second half, Chris Brunt drilled in a low free kick from an acute angle on the right wing.

Amid chaotic scenes in the United box, the ball took a touch off Evra, Edwin van der Sar attempted to claw it back and, whether or not it had already crossed the line, Jonas Olsson ensured there was no doubt about the validity of the goal by poking the ball in.

If it was hard to fault Van der Sar then, his culpability was beyond dispute a few minutes later.

While Paul Scharner's industry in charging down Rafael's attempted clearance was admirable, Brunt's cross was less impressive, hoisted towards the Dutchman. However, the usual paragon of reliability spilled it in the manner of a fumbling child.

Tchoyi, scarcely believing his luck, capped his first league start for the club by opening his account in England.

"Edwin has been playing for 25 years. The last time he made a mistake like that was probably in primary school," argued Ferguson. An individual error it was, but it continued a worrying trend.

Having seen points slip away at Fulham and at Everton and squandered two-goal leads both at Goodison Park and against Liverpool - even though that match was ultimately won, this is becoming an unfortunate habit from United.

"We can't keep doing that," Ferguson said. "We're very frustrated with it."

His complaint was of a lack of ruthlessness.

"Where it should have been 5-0 at half time, we went in at 2-0," he added. "There's been many times: at Everton it should have been five or six, it should have been three or four at Fulham. We are losing points. It's inexplicable."

Explanations are feasible, though.

Roberto Di Matteo, Albion's nonchalant manager, felt the fightback was typical of his team.

"It shows team spirit, it shows personality," he said. "We never give up and that is my philosophy. I want my players to fight."

The initial focus for United was on both a sidelined striker and his replacement. After publicly contradicting his manager's view that he had been suffering from an ankle injury, Wayne Rooney was left on the bench.

His deputy, Javier Hernandez, scored in the first, but lesser, of the game's goalkeeping errors. Nani's free kick was not the most venomous in the Portuguese's armoury. Scott Carson nonetheless contrived to drop it directly in front of Hernandez. The opportunity was accepted with relish.

The lead was doubled courtesy of a swift counter-attack. What initially appeared an unfortunate slip from Nicky Shorey swiftly became a second United goal. Nani pounced, driving infield, exchanging passes with Dimitar Berbatov and sweeping his shot into the net. Vidic subsequently hit the post.

In cruise control then, United made frantic attempts to hit top gear in their search for a winner. Ferguson had omitted last season's outstanding player (Rooney) as well as this season's finest, Paul Scholes.

He sent for both. Rooney had an effort cleared off the line by Gabriel Tamas.

It condemned United to a third successive draw and a fifth in eight games.

"For teams down the league, you say you're undefeated but for Manchester United, it's not good enough," Ferguson concluded.

It was a statement with which few disagreed.

RACE CARD AND SELECTIONS

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 1,200m

5,30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,200m

6pm: The President’s Cup Listed (TB) Dh380,000 1,400m

6.30pm: The President’s Cup Group One (PA) Dh2,500,000 2,200m

7pm: Arabian Triple Crown Listed (PA) Dh230,000 1,600m

7.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 1,400m

 

The National selections

5pm: RB Hot Spot

5.30pm: Dahess D’Arabie

6pm: Taamol

6.30pm: Rmmas

7pm: RB Seqondtonone

7.30pm: AF Mouthirah

Results:

First Test: New Zealand 30 British & Irish Lions 15

Second Test: New Zealand 21 British & Irish Lions 24

Third Test: New Zealand 15 British & Irish Lions 15

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

At Everton Appearances: 77; Goals: 17

At Manchester United Appearances: 559; Goals: 253

SHOW COURTS ORDER OF PLAY

Wimbledon order of play on Tuesday, July 11
All times UAE (+4 GMT)

Centre Court

Adrian Mannarino v Novak Djokovic (2)

Venus Williams (10) v Jelena Ostapenko (13)

Johanna Konta (6) v Simona Halep (2)

Court 1

Garbine Muguruza (14) v

Svetlana Kuznetsova (7)

Magdalena Rybarikova v Coco Vandeweghe (24)

Stage result

1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 4:42:34

2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe

3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers

4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco

5. Emils Liepins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo

6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

7. Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar Team

8. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma

9. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux

10. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) UAE Team Emirate

'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'

Rating: 1 out of 4

Running time: 81 minutes

Director: David Blue Garcia

Starring: Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Mark Burnham

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The Year Earth Changed

Directed by:Tom Beard

Narrated by: Sir David Attenborough

Stars: 4

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
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  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
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If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

The specs: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox

Price, base / as tested: Dh76,900 / Dh110,900

Engine: 2.0L, turbocharged in-line four-cylinder

Gearbox: Nine-speed automatic

Power: 252hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: Torque: 352Nm @ 2,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 8.5L / 100km

Miss Granny

Director: Joyce Bernal

Starring: Sarah Geronimo, James Reid, Xian Lim, Nova Villa

3/5

(Tagalog with Eng/Ar subtitles)

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Overview

Cricket World Cup League Two: Nepal, Oman, United States tri-series, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu

Fixtures
Wednesday February 5, Oman v Nepal
Thursday, February 6, Oman v United States
Saturday, February 8, United States v Nepal
Sunday, February 9, Oman v Nepal
Tuesday, February 11, Oman v United States
Wednesday, February 12, United States v Nepal

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Thor: Love and Thunder

Director: Taika Waititi 

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi

Rating: 4/5


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