Wayne Rooney will hope to prove his worth to Manchester United when they bid to put their Champions League heartache behind them against Chelsea in today’s FA Cup quarter-final.
The England striker was dropped to the bench for United’s 2-1 loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday, sparking speculation that he could be set to leave the club he joined from Everton in 2004.
However, United manager Alex Ferguson has branded those reports “rubbish” and revealed that the 27-year-old will play a part at Old Trafford today.
Though he stopped short of confirming that Rooney would start the game, Ferguson defended his right to keep his team selections under wraps.
“He’ll be involved on Sunday,” the United manager said. “[But] I’m not prepared to give away my team. Why should I? Why should I help anyone? We don’t do that.”
Ferguson was nonetheless prepared to reveal that Ryan Giggs will play no part against Chelsea after putting in a superb 90-minute shift against Madrid in what was his 1,000th senior appearance.
“Ryan Giggs won’t play [against Chelsea] on Sunday. Why? He was the best player we had [on Tuesday],” Ferguson said.
“We know how to control him and get Ryan prepared for certain games. He has done his bit for us. Next week, yes; different game, another bit of rest,” he said.
Ferguson was so angered by his side’s loss to Madrid, which turned on the controversial 56th-minute dismissal of United winger Nani, that he refused to speak to media after the game.
He will nonetheless have found solace in United’s 12-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, as well as the possibility of reaching a first FA Cup final since 2007.
Chelsea’s situation is rather less comfortable.
Winners of the FA Cup in four of the last six seasons, Chelsea’s recent form suggests the trophy may represent their only chance of finishing the season with some silverware.
The Blues currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League and suffered a shock 1-0 loss at Steaua Bucharest in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday.
However, goalkeeper Petr Cech believes the trip to Old Trafford provides a perfect opportunity to draw a line beneath their own European disappointment.
“It’s the best way to forget about this defeat,” Cech told Chelsea TV. “The games are coming thick and fast. We won’t have much time to prepare, but we’ll get a little bit of rest and hopefully we’ll have a good performance on Sunday.”
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
BITING THE BULLET: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said that top players would make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salary Three-quarters of Rugby Australia’s staff were temporarily laid off yesterday amid huge financial losses from the sport’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, while Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players would take a 70 percent pay cut to ensure that the club’s other employees are paid. The cuts to rugby staff were “the toughest decision in the game’s history,” governing body CEO Raelene Castle said. “Although extremely painful, they are necessary to ensure ... we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild.” The sport has been hit hard by
After the University of Michigan lost to Ohio State University in the semi-finals of the women’s NCAA Big Ten Tournament, Michigan Wolverines coach Kim Barnes Arico and her staff hit the road, where they intended to take advantage of a full week off before the NCAA Tournament by visiting as many potential recruits as possible. “That was our window. You get to go to someone’s home. That helps you build relationships. Helps build so many things,” Barnes Arico said. “We had all these things scheduled until we went to see high-school championships.” Of course, the championships were canceled, as was the NCAA