Thursday, July 30

Bayern Munich 0 v 0 Manchester United (Bayern win 7-6 on pens)

United lost their first pre-season game of the warm up campaign in a dramatic penalty shoot out after a sluggish 0-0 draw.

On home soil in the Audi Cup final, Bayern Munich had the lion's share of the first half and continued their dominance after the break.

United showed the odd spark in the final third with Dimitar Berbatov perhaps the best for the visitors tonight. Michael Owen and substitute Wayne Rooney both had quiet nights.

After both sides scored their opening six penalties, Jonny Evans missed allowing Bayern to clinch the trophy.

It was the reds' sixth pre-season game. The previous five - all but one on the Asia Tour - ended in victories.

Next stop is a home friendly with Valencia on Wednesday night before the Community Shield showdown with Chelsea a week on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 29

Manchester United 2-1 Boca Juniors

Anderson scored.
No, really. Anderson - yes the one that plays for United. He scored a goal.
No, it wasn't an own goal or a penalty or one of those pity goals teams let you score when they mistakenly go 1-0 up instead of returning the ball after an injury.
It was actually a pretty good goal. Look

His first goal in open play in 75 senior appearances for the Champions.
It was United's first on the way to a 2-1 victory against Boca Juniors in the semi final of the Audi Cup at Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena.
The second goal was scored on 43 minutes by Antonia Valencia, who was making his debut from the reds after his £17m move from Wigan.
Federico Insua's volley got one back for the Argentinians on 55 minutes, but United held out and will now face Bayern Munich in tomorrow's final, kick off 19:45 UK time and 20:45 local time, live on MUTV.
Bayern, on home soil, hammered AC Milan 4-1. Milan will now play Boca in the third-place play off at 17:30 UK times and 18:30 local time.

Tuesday, July 28

Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United XI

An impressive crowd of 7,480 - 761 of those away fans - saw United reserves maintain their unbeaten pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win against Conference new boys Luton.

The reds got off to a dream start, scoring in the very first minute of the game with an impressive seven-pass move culminating in a six-yard tap in from 20-year-old striker Fabian Brandy.

Things got even better for the young visitors on nine minutes when midfielder Tom Cleverley added their second from the penalty spot after Brandy went down in the box.

With six new faces on show, Luton were desperate to impress and grabbed one back on the 15-minute mark when Asa Hall capitalised on a goalmouth mix up to toe poke in from close range.

There were no further goals and reds showed how they could hold on to a slender lead three days after proving they can close one.

Starting United team: Ziler, Simpson, Gill, Chester, Le Leat, Gray, Eikrem, Hewson, Brandy, Cleverley and Dudgeon.

Subs: Moffatt, Heaton, Stewart, Ajose, Wooten and Brown.

(Belated) guide to Munich

For those who of you lucky enough to be jetting off to Munich tomorrow to see United take on Boca Juniors tomorrow, we've answered all your questions for you print off and grab on the way to the airport.

How do I get from Munich Airport to the town?

The airport is 17 miles north east of the city centre. You can take the train or the bus into town or hire a car from the airport or get a taxi.

By train, follow the airport signs to Munich Airport Station, which is in a tunnel beneath the central section of the airport, similar to the layout at London Stansted.

Take line S1 or S8 on the Suburban Railway service. It takes 45 minutes to reach the central Munich Train Station, called Hauptbahnhof and trains leave roughly every 10 minutes at peak hours and every 30 minutes off peak. It costs e8 one way.

Lufthansa provides an airport bus shuttle to town, but it costs e8 one way and takes longer than the train. It's not worth it.

By taxi, it will take you about 40 minutes and cost you about e55.

What will the weather be like?
According to the BBC, you can expect a mixed bag of conditions.

Wednesday day - Sunny: 26C. Wednesday night – clear: 17C

Thursday day – Heavy rain showers 24C. Thursday night – showers: 16C

Friday day: Cloudy with sunny intervals 22C.

How do I get from town to the ground?
From Hauptbahnhof, take the U4 line two stops east toward s Arabellapark and get off at Odeonsplatz.

Then take the U6 line 10 stops north towards Garching-Forschungszentrum and get off at Frottmaning.

From there, follow the crowd. You can see the stadium when you leave the station. It's a 10-minute walk to the turnstiles.

What time do the games kick off?
On Wednesday, United v Boca Juniors starts at 18:30 local time. Bayern v AC Milan is at 20:45.
On Thursday, the third-place decider is at 18:30 and the final is at 20:45.

Are there any match tickets left?
There are a few tickets left for Wednesday, but Thursday is sold out.

You should have no problems getting the odd spare ticket from fellow reds in the bars around the town though.

What pubs will reds be drinking in?
There two Irish pubs mainly which will be the meeting point of reds.

The main one is Killains at Frauenpltz 11, just off the central Marianplatz (it can be a bit tricky to find through a maze of backstreets though).

And the other one is The Shamrock at Trautenwolfstrsse 6 – but we recommend Killains.
What other sites are there to see?

The restaurants are fantastic if a little pricey (a pint of lager will set you back about e3.75 if you avoid the Irish pubs, where it's about e1 dearer) and there's plenty in the way of architecture to be spotted, like the New Town Hall and Te Peterskirch church – both close to Marienplatz square.

How do I get to the Munich memorial?
It's in the quiet district of Trudering at the spot that marks where the plane came down on February 6, 1958.

From the central Munich Train Station, called Hauptbahnhof, take the red U7 service 11 stops east towards Messestadt-Ost and get off at Trudering.

Walk up the steps and, with the parkland on your right, walk about 500 yards straight and follow the road round to the right.

Walk for another few minutes and you should see a football pitch/park on your right and a pub on your left.

Turn left past the pub and you'll see the memorial right in front of you. There's also a shop and florists opposite the pub.
Allianz Arena photographes used with the kind permission of Hussain Shah and Thomas Oswald.

Boca Juniors opponents guide

Boca Juniors
Audi Cup
Allianz Arena, Munich
July 29, kick off 17:30 UK time, 18:30 local time

After completing their quartet of matches in Asia, the squad will fly straight to Munich to take part in a four-team tournament, joining Boca Juniors, Bayern Munich and AC Milan in the mix.

First up, in the semi final, is a game against Carlos Tevez's old team Boca Juniors on July 29.

So what can United expect from their second match against South American opposition in eight months?

Q. When was the club founded?
A. April 3, 1905 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since then, they have lifted 33 major trophies and become a world force in football.

Q. They might be good by Argentinian standards, but how good are Argentinian teams compared with European rivals?
A. Better than you might think. In the IFFHS club world rankings, which gives all clubs a score to determine who is the best, United are second and Boca are 11th. Estudiantes, also from Argentina are fifth, ahead of the likes of Juventus.

Like the English league, it has a few world-leading clubs, and then a lot of dead wood. Boca are definitely up there with the best.

Q. So how did they do last season?
A. The Argentina league is so complex you need a degree in organisational maths just to understand how it works.

Between August and December, 20 teams play each other once.

The top three go into a championship play off. Boca finished second, winning 12, drawing three and losing four.

They then won the three-way play off on goal difference and earned a place in this year's Copa Libertadores – the South American version of the UEFA Champions League, which runs from January to July.

Despite topping their qualifying group, they got knocked out in the last 16, with Uruguay team Defensor Sporting beating them 3-2 on aggregate.

During that tournament, a second Argentinian league season takes place – again, with each team playing each other once.

But as Boca were preoccupied with the Copa Libertadores, the league campaign was put on the backburner and, with one game to go, they lie fourth from bottom, having won just five out of 18 games.

It gets more complicated than that, but to summarise, Boca had a good season, but it was cut shorter than they would have liked, hence the need for the Audi Cup tournament.

Q. Who will be the main threats?
A. Midfield menace Sebastian Battaglia is a 28-year-old Argentina international who has played 187 times for Boca in two spells.

In the middle of that, he spent the 2004/5 season at Villareal.

He has a habit of scoring crucial goals against bitter enemies River Plate and is the Ryan Giggs of Boca, having won 16 domestic titles with the club.

Q. Will it be good value for money?
A. Damn right it will. Tickets for this one have been on sale for as low as e9 – and that's standing up as well.

Not only do you get to see this match, but you can watch Bayern Munich take on AC Milan in the other semi final right afterwards.

Did you know?
Boca Juniors became the fifth football club in the world to have its own TV channel in 2003. It closed in 2005.
You can buy an official Boca Juniors coffin – and even get buried in official Boca cemetery.
The club has its own fleet of Boca-themed taxis
They also sell their own brand of wine.

Reserves all set for Luton test

OLE Gunnar Solskjaer's young reserve side are gearing up to face Luton Town in a pre-season friendly tonight, kick off 19:45.

The Kenilworth Road fixture will be a Manchester United XI's fourth warm up for the 2009/10 season.

In previous games, they have beaten AFC Fylde and Rochdale and earned a draw with Norwich.

The game will give Luton the chance to show off six new players and a new home kit.

United are set to stick to the same squad which arrived at Norwich on Saturday.

That was:

United XI: Tom Heaton, David Gray, De Laet, James Chester, Craig Cathcart, Corry Evans, Magnus Eikrem, Sam Hewson, Cameron Stewart, Cleverley and Danny Simpson, Joe Dudgeon, Oliver Gill, Oliver Norwood. Nicholas Ajose, Ron-Robert Zieler and Scott Moffatt.

It is pay on the gate for tonight's match. Entry cost £20 for adults, £15 for young adults and seniors, £10 for unaccompanied juniors and £5 for accompanied juniors.

Check back here at about 10pm for a report on the game.

Monday, July 27

Luton Town - a local's guide

As United reserves prepare for tomorrow night's game against Luton Town, lifelong fan David Alexander gives reds his take on his beloved Hatters.

Talking to Reds Away, David lets us in on closely kept secrets about the best pubs in town, the special Kenilworth Road atmosphere and...walking through front gardens get get there!

The game has been arranged to help funding for our youth set up, which over the years has produced many players who have gone on to become household names, such as John Hartson, Matthew Upson, Curtis Davies and Matthew Taylor.

We are grateful to Sir Alex for agreeing to send a side down.

For many clubs outside of the Premiership millions, nurturing young talent is what keeps them in business.

So for us to get a Manchester United team down to Kenilworth Road, regardless of
the teams strength on the night, promises to be a great evening and full house,
which is of benefit to us for many reasons.

Obviously, the ticket revenue is great and with this going towards our youth set-up, goes a long way to covering the shortfall we miss out on in grants from the Football League now that we have lost our league status for the first time in 89 years.

But also it is great for getting more people watching football live and locally.

The mere mention of Manchester United playing at Luton will result in many kids from the diverse local community coming into the ground, and hopefully result in them getting the football buzz and becoming the Luton Town fans of the future.

One of our owners' cornerstones is its investment in the future of the club and the pricing structure of season tickets reflects this, with discounted family rates and low
junior & youth matchday and season ticket prices.

If this games results in more kids coming more often, then that is fantastic.

Despite what we have been through in the last few years, and indeed decades, with owners that only saw the club as a way of making personal gains, we have still maintained a sense of enjoyment at games.

Three consecutive relegations haven't deterred us and we took a record 40,000 people to Wembley in April when we lifted the Johnstone Paint Trophy.

The atmosphere created at Kenilworth Road by the fans has always been noted by players that have either played their entire careers here, or merely played a few games on loan.

It is far detached from the lack of atmosphere, passion and commitment that is witnessed at many clubs in the top flight, certain areas of London especially!

Getting here is easy by either car, train, coach or even plane.

The ground is about a 15-minute walk from the town centre. Most pubs in town tend to be home fans only, but the following normally accept away fans.

If you come by train, near the station is The Railway, or going the other way towards town The George II and The Great Northern.

In the town centre, Brookes and The Heights don't tend to be attached to home fans, but are a bit further from the ground.

Near the ground is Bedfordshire Yeoman on Dallow Road which is home and away fans' pub and is a five-minute walk to the ground.

Beer isn't served in the away end. There are two food huts at either end of the stand.

You effectively have to walk through front doors and gardens to get to the Oak Road Stand which holds away fans - one of the weirdest entrances to any stadium in the world, I imagine.

We really hope people making the journey down enjoy they visit and the match and thank them for supporting our club.

Last chance for Chelsea tickets

One United Members have until 20:00 to grab their tickets for the Community Shield against Chelsea on August 9.

United have got 26,247 tickets in the East Stand priced at £40, £30, £20 and £15. Under 16s get £5 off those prices.

Executive members and season ticket holders who applied have already discovered they have got their tickets.
One United Members can apply for tickets online or by calling 0161 868 8000 before 20:00 on Monday, July 27.

Chelsea have received 26,300 tickets at the same prices. They have already sold out of the £40 and £30 tickets and have given their season ticket holders and members who have already bought tickets the chance to buy two more each.

A full Wembley travel and pub guide will appear on this blog in the next few days.

Apply for Wigan tickets now

Executive members and season ticket holders can apply now for tickets to see the champions take on Wigan.

The Latics take on United at the former JJB Stadium – now named the DW Stadium – on Saturday August 22 with a 15:00 kick off.

United have a rather impressive 3,976 allocation. Tickets cost £28 for adults and £20 for under 16s and over 65s.

Executive members and season ticket holders can apply online or by calling 0161 868 8000 until 20:00 on Friday.

Ballot results are set to be released on Friday August 7, but it's worth checking two days before that as they are often published early.

A full travel and pub guide will appear here on the day ballot results come out.

Sunday, July 26

Reds Germany bound

Straight after today's match in China, the first-team squad fly straight to Germany ready for their first of two games in the Audi Cup.

The reds take on Boca Juniors at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday and then play either AC Milan or Bayern Munich the following day.

About 1,000 reds are expected to make the trip to south-east Germany and, in the next couple of days, we'll be recommending a few bars and tourist attraction info, including info about the Munich memorial.

If you have any questions about your trip, feel free to email

Reds bag magic eight in China

A Ryan Giggs hat trick was among the highlights as United drubbed Hangzhou Greentown 8-2.

Michael Owen opened the scoring early on before Dimitar Berbatov - a superb playmaker for most of the game - added a second.

Zoran Tosic scored an impressive third and Owen slid in for number four before the break.

After half term, Nani netted a clever solo effort, paving the way for Giggs to get an impressive second-half hat trick.
Wang Hongyou and Otto grabbed two late consulation goals for the home side.

The match was the last of United's four Asia Tour games, all of which ended in victories.

Saturday, July 25

Late strike grabs reserves a draw at Norwich

A young United reserve side earned a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road in front of a crowd of 13, 381.

Norwich took the lead on 21 minutes when Tom Adeyemi hit a right-footed shot past reds' stopper Tom Heaton.

United had several good openings after the break but failed to make them count until there were just five minutes on the clock, when Belgian defender Richie De Laet slotted home for the equaliser.

They won the other two of their pre-season games, against AFC Fylde and Rochdale respectively, and now face Luton Town on Tuesday and Altrincham seven days later on in their final warm-up matches.

Norwich: Ben Alnwick, Jon Otsemobor, Simon Lappin, Gary Doherty (caption), Jens Askou, Owain Tudor Jones, Paul McVeigh, Tom Adeyemi, Chris Martin, Jamie Cureton, Wesley Hoolahan.

Subs: Adam Drury (on 46 for Hoolahan), Michael Nelson (on 46 for Doherty), Matthew Gill (on 46 for Tudor Jones), Simon Whaley (on 46 for McVeigh), Michael Spillane, (on 81 for for Adeyemi) Grant Holt (on 81, for Cureton) and Kriss Bright (on 69 for Martin).

Not used: Lee Barrett and Stephens

United XI: Tom Heaton, David Gray, De Laet, James Chester, Craig Cathcart, Corry Evans (captain), Magnus Eikrem, Sam Hewson, Cameron Stewart, Cleverley and Danny Simpson

Subs: Joe Dudgeon (on 76 for Stewart), Oliver Gill (on 46 for Chester) and Oliver Norwood (on 46 for Hewson).

Not used: Nicholas Ajose, Ron-Robert Zieler and Scott Moffatt.

Hangzhou Greentown opponents guide

Hangzhou Greentown
July 26, kick off 18:00 local time, 13:00 UK time
The Huanglong Stadium, China

Live on MUTV or links here from noon.
In the final game of the four-match Asia Tour 2009, the reds travel to the China to face Hangzhou Greentown. So what can we expect from Uniteds' hosts?

Where are they based?
Hangzhou is in the south east of China.

It is in the province of Zhejiang, which is 836 times bigger than Greater Manchester and about half as big as the UK.

About 6.7 million people live in Hangzhou, compared with 2.5 million in Greater Manchester. It's a very scenic part of China, with impressive waterfalls and lakes.

What's the stadium like?
Pretty decent. The Huanglong Stadium holds 51,000 people and was opened in 2000.

Huanglong means Yellow Dragon in Chinese.

This would be the stadium's biggest ever game. Tickets cost from £4.50 to £73 and the stadium is expected to sell out.

How long have they been going?

Not very long. While United were completing a historic treble in 1999, Hangzhou Greentown were just being formed.

They started out in the Chinese third tier and 'won' promotion to the second tier in 2001 when another team was bought out by a smaller club and had to play at the lower club's level.

In 2006, they finished second in the second tier and won promotion to the top tier - The Chinese Super League.

Are they any good?
Not really. They've been in the top division for two full seasons, finishing 11th in 2007 and 9th in 2008. The current league season ends in November.

How does their league work?
There are 16 teams who play each other twice between March and November. The bottom two clubs get relegated and the top team are champions.
The top four teams get a place in the Asian version of the Champions League. Greentown are currently 10th after 15 games and have been in mid-table for most of the season so far.
Have they got any decent players?
Only one stands out - a pacey 28-year-old Brazilian lad called Valdo.

He plays up front and, at the time of writing, has scored six of Greentown's 18 goals this season.

Will they pose much threat to United?

No. They are an average team in a poor league. A reserve team could despatch them pretty easily.

Though you could argue United won't be taking it very seriously and the climate could have a part to play.

What will the weather be like, then?
It will be about 25C and probably raining.

Photographs used with kind permission of Ted Steiner.

Apply for Wigan tickets from Monday

Executive members and season ticket holders can apply for tickets from 8am on Monday to see the champions take on Wigan.

The Latics take on United at the former JJB Stadium – now named the DW Stadium – on Saturday August 22 with a 15:00 kick off.

United have a rather impressive 3,976 allocation. Tickets cost £28 for adults and £20 for under 16s and over 65s.

Executive members and season ticket holders can apply online or by calling 0161 868 8000 until 20:00 on Friday.

Ballot results are set to be released on Friday August 7, but it's worth checking two days before that as they are often published early.

A full travel and pub guide will appear here on the day ballot results come out.

East Anglia trips awaits reserves

They have already seen off AFC Fylde and Rochdale in their pre-season preparations and today at 15:00, United's reserves will travel south east to take on Norwich City.

To give us a taste of what Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's men have to look forward to today, here's a guide to Norwich - and its football team - from lifelong fan Mike Reynolds.

Mike is a retired electronics design engineer and Norwich City Supporters Trust secretary.

Despite his age - he has a concessionary season ticket - he sits with his partner in the lower Barclay Stand, which is the rarely seated, always noisy, part of the ground.

Norwich - a centre of culture in the agricultural wastelands of East Anglia.

Travelling from the north, you cross fenlands where you can see for miles and barely a human being in sight (supporters from this area are locally called Fen Gibbons).

From the west, you travel through forest and heathland and fans from this area are called Londoners because that’s where they came from and their first choice teams remain Arsenal, West Ham or Spurs.

From the south, well that is Suffolk home of our dear friends Ipswich (politely referred to as The Scum). But at least they are moving upwards.

And from the east, well there is only Great Yarmouth and you will meet lots of fans from there in their Manchester United shirts whenever one of your teams hits Carrow Road.

For those visiting Norwich there is much to see. The ancient city centre castle, market and Norwich Cathedral are ten minutes' walk from the football ground and well worth a quick visit.

If you haven’t got much time. the Riverside area between the train station and the ground has all the usual suspects - Frankie and Bennys, JD Wetherspoons and sundry other franchises as well as a small retail park.

But if you have a lot of time, may I recommend a visit to the Fat Cat Pub ( for a real ale treat?

Unfortunately this may mean missing the match as many an away fan has fallen to the temptation of “drinking through the card a half at a time”

Having said all that, we would be most grateful if visiting fans could spend all their money on Norwich City catering.

Our downward progression from the Premiership (yes, we did actually beat you at Carrow Road) into the old Third Division has left us extremely short of cash.

This, of course, need not be the usual football food fiasco as our majority shareholder Delia has created two excellent eateries at the ground (

On the surface our football club appears in rude health: A fine stadium, unwavering support (18,000 + season tickets sold) and a training complex, oft quoted by new signings as the reason they signed (what - not for Third Division football?!!!).

But the truth is for the likes of Norwich, Charlton and Southampton and Leeds before us, life outside the Premiership is a gamble and we are not holding the winning hands.

Friday, July 24

United recover to earn hard-fought victory

A goal each from Wayne Rooney, Federico Macheda and Dimitar Berbatov lead the reds to a 3-2 win over FC Seoul in South Korea.

The triumph, from 2-1 down at half time, came tonight at the Sang-am Stadium stadium before a capacity crowd of 64,000 fans.

It was United's third match of a four-game Asia Tour. The first two were against a Malaysia XI side.

They were supposed to play an Indonesian Super League XI on Monday, but that had to be cancelled after a bomb exploded in what - three days later- would have been the squad's hotel in Jakarta.

The first team have one remaining fixture on the tour - against Hangzhou Greentown on Monday.

Check back here on Saturday for a full opponent guide to Hangzhou.

Wednesday, July 22

Coming tomorrow

We'll have a bit about FC Seoul before they take on United on Friday and we'll have a view on Norwich from a local's perspective. plus all the travel and pub information you need for that game.

Apply for your Burnley tickets from tomorrow

From 08:00 tomorrow, executive members and season ticket holders can apply for tickets to see United take on Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday August 19, kick off 19:45.

The club has been given an allocation of 2,400 tickets - down from a 4,500 away-end capacity last season).

Ticket prices haven't been released yet.
Apply online or by calling 0161 868 8000 before 20:00 on Tuesday.

Ballot results are then expected to be made available from Tuesday 4 August, but it's worth checking the day before as results are often published earlier than stated.

A full travel and pub guide will be put on here in the next few days.

Chelsea ballot results out now

Fans who applied for tickets for the Community Shield against Chelsea on August 9 can find out if they have them now.
United have got 26,247 tickets in the East Stand priced at £40, £30, £20 and £15. Under 16s get £5 off those prices.
It is no yet know whether everyone who has applied so far has got them, but United have announced One United Members can apply for tickets online or by calling 0161 868 8000 before 20:00 on Monday, July 27.

Chelsea have received 26,300 tickets at the same prices. They have already sold out of the £40 tickets and intend to put the rest of their allocation on sale to ticket allocations tomorrow morning.
A full Wembley travel and pub guide will appear on this blog in the next few days.

Saturday, July 18

Malaysia XI 2- 3 Manchester United

The reds got their pre-season campaign off to a satisfactory start with a 3-2 win over an exhibition side in Kuala Lumpur.

In a match that kicked off at 10.30 UK time, United strolled into a two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Wayne Rooney after eight minutes and Nani just before the half-hour mark.

But they let their advantage slip when 28-year-old Mohd Amri Yayyah netted a quick double to draw them home side level.

A debut goal from substitute Michael Owen secured the win for United with five minutes left on the clock - no doubt a major morale boost for the man whose former Newcastle side were relegated two month ago.


United: Van der Sar (Foster 46); O'Shea, Ferdinand (Brown 61), Evans, Evra (Fabio 61); Gibson, Scholes (Tosic 61), Anderson (Giggs 76), Nani; Rooney (Owen 61), Berbatov (Macheda 76).

Malaysian XI: Marlias; Mazlizam, Zamani, Zafuan, Asraruddin; Rahim, Rohidan, Kunalan, Yahyah, Indra Putra; Zaquan.

The next stop on United's pre-season tour was supposed to have been Indonesia.
But a fatal bomb attack on the hotel they were due to be staying in in Jakarta lead to the trip being cancelled, along with their scheduled match against an Indonesian Super League XI.

The club have not yet announced whether another match will be organised in its place. But at this late stage, it is highly unlikely.
This is the remainder of United's pre-season plans. Later on this weekend, we'll bring you news on the Rochdale match and an opponents' guide to FC Seoul.

20 Rochdale*
24 FC Seoul
25 Norwich City*
26 Hangzhou Greentown
28 Luton Town*
29 Boca Juniors
30 AC Milan or Bayern Munich

4 Altrincham*
9 Chelsea (Community Shield)
*Manchester United XI side

Reserves edge out Fylde in tricky conditions

OLE Gunnar Solskjaer's second XI beat AFC Fylde 2-1 on a wet and blustery night in Lancashire yesterday.
A crowd of 1,390 saw midfielder Tom Cleverly bag the second goal for United. The home side's Michael Clark got a goal back.
An AFC Fylde spokesman said: "Our players gave a creditable performance against a talented Utd side littered with top quality youngsters who are destined for big things."

Remaining pre-season fixtures

Malaysia XI
20 Rochdale*
24 FC Seoul
25 Norwich City*
26 Hangzhou Greentown
28 Luton Town*
29 Boca Juniors
30 AC Milan or Bayern Munich
4 Altrincham*
9 Chelsea (Community Shield)
*Manchester United XI side

Friday, July 17

United cancel Indonesia match

United will NOT now play in Indonesia after terrorists blew up a hotel - three days before they were due to stay there.

A suspected suicide bomb attack at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Jakarta killed nine people and injured 50.

The squad were due to check in early on Sunday after flying from Malaysia, where they will play a national team tomorrow.

A planned match against an Indonesian Super League XI, due to take place on Sunday has been cancelled amidst concerns the United squad's safety cannot be guaranteed.

The 100,000-capacity crowd sold in minutes when the match was announced at the start of the year.

In a press conference yesterday, Sir Alex Ferguson said: "We are shocked.

"We are terribly disappointed because we've never been to Indonesia before.

"The organisers have worked very hard to get us over there and it is disappointing for them too.
"But we have to safeguard the players. I think we made the right decision."

United chief executive David Gill said the club was looking at organising a fixture in its place.

But at such short notice, and with the security concerns in mind, it is highly unlikely the reds will step foot inside Indonesia for the time being.

It is far more probably the players will remain in Malaysia and fly straight to Seoul in time for their next game on July 24.

Malysia - opponents guide

Malaysia XI
Saturday July 18
kick off 17:30 local time, 10:30 UK time
Bukit Jailil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur

Live on

A day after touching down in the Far East, United will face arguably their toughest challenge of their Asia Tour. But just how good will the Tigers be?

Where exactly is Malaysia?
South of Thailand, east of Sri Lanka, west of Indonesia and north of Australia.

Basically, about as as far away from Manchester as you can get without starting to come back. The population is 26 million - about a third of the UK population.

How long have they been playing international football?

Since 1953, though, in the first decade of that, the country was known as Malaya. Malaya played their first ever match in April 1953 and were, by all accounts, a force to be reckoned with in the region in the mid 50s.

What have they ever won?

Two Asia Games bronze medals....and that's about it.

The second of those came in 1974 and, despite producing a decent side in the late seventies it's been rather Manchester Cityesque in the trophy cabinet.

A corruption scandal in the mid nineties saw a drop in popularity for the national team across Malaysia.

Malaysia were dumped out of the 2007 Asia Cup in the first round after losing 5-1 to China and 5-0 to Uzbekistan. They did almost as badly in the 2008 Suzuki Cup.

Things went from bad to worse this February when, after a 5-0 drubbing from United Arab Emirates, the manager Datuk Soh Chin Aun was sacked.

The new boss, known only as K. Rajagopal is currently preparing his side for the South East Asia Games in Laos in December.

Q. What side is he going to put out?

A. That is anyone's guess.

On June 14, it was reported the boss said six members of the under 19 squad were in the running for December's tournament and none of the established players could take their places for granted.

We think the team he'll pick will look something like this:

Syed Adney

Mohd Daudsu Jamaluddi
Norhafiz Zamani Misbah
Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak
Bunyamin Omar

Mohd Khyril Muhymeen Zambri
Shukor Adan
Amri Yahyah
Asraruddin Putra

Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak
Safee Mohd Sali

Syed Hussein
Amirulhadi Zainal
Farderin Kadir
Fauzi Nan
K. Gurusamy
Mohd Muslim Ahmad
Mohd Faizal Mohd
Mohd Fandi Othman
Indra Putra Mahayuddin
Ahmad Shakir Md Ali
Mahali Jasuli.

Are any of them decent?
A. In all honesty, they lack the skill and finesse that quality international sides have to offer.

If anything, Malaysia's big plus point is how they hold their structure.

Indra Putra Mahayuddin plays a big part in that. With more than 40 caps, the holding midfielder is one of the longest-serving members of the team.

But he might not even get a starting place if the coach is determined to try out some of the younger lads.

Will they pose much threat to United?
No. They're ranked 159th in the world and are very low on confidence, with lots of upheaval in recent years.

Even St Vincents and the Grenadines, an island with a population of 120,000, has a better team than them. It should be a decent run out for United.

What team will the reds put out?
Don't bank on many big names starting, though half a dozen first teamers will probably get a run out just to please the fans. As usual in these games, it will be substiturama.

What's the stadium like?
Brilliant. It holds 100,000 people and is the joint ninth largest stadium in the world. It was opened in 1998 for the Commonwealth Games. Tickets cost from £11 to £57. It's unlikely to sell out.

Photographs used with the kind permission of Yeoh Thean Kheng of Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, July 16

United's Asia Tour - an introduction

While cynics may say far-flung pre season trips to the other side of the world are merely a club marketing ploy, there is another side to trips like United's 2009 Asia Tour.

For a lucky few, the three-match series starting on July 18 will be an opportunity to see some fabulous parts of Malaysia, South Korea and China.

Admittedly, it's pricey (on behalf of the club, Travelcare Sports sold packages for more than £7,000 per person) but journeying so far is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...and the football is an added bonus.
Among the top sites to see are the famous Petronas Twin Towers (pictured above) of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and the equally impressive architectural feat of the Bukit Jalil Stadium (pictured below left) - the joint ninth biggest ground in the world.

The last stop of the tour, Hangzhou in China, boasts some superb natural scenery and West Lake - a historic fresh water lake in the centre of the city.

Seoul in South Korea isn't without its charms either, featuring a variety of temples and shrines and traditional Korean villages.

For the rest of us at home, it will be the football alone that is the focus of our attention.

All the matches will be shown live on MUTV, though the kick off times aren't exactly ideal.

Tour fixtures

18, kick off 10:30 Malaysia XI
20, kick off 14:00 Indonesian Super League Select XI - CANCELLED
24, kick off 13:00 FC Seoul
26, kick off 12:00 Hangzhou Greentown

all live on MUTV

The two weekend games against the Malaysia XI and FC Seoul kick off at 10:30 and 13:00 UK time respectively, while a Friday game against Hangzhou Greentown starts at noon (stadium pictured right), which isn't ideal for workers.
On the other hand, it's a great chance to skive off work, find somewhere with MUTV and enjoy an oasis from the summer footballing desert.

In the coming days, we will bring you all you need to know about United's three opponents. Here's to a great trip and a quartet of victories.

Photographs used with the kind permission of Ted Steiner, Chonlada Bangluangsanti and Yeoj Tjean Kheng.

It's only halfway through July and we're back for a new season

Well, okay, it's not QUITE the season - just a flurry of fixtures to warm up the players, earn a bit of cash for the club and help out smaller clubs.

Many fans wash their hands of pre-season and see it as a spoiler for the coming campaign, while others miss the beautiful game so much over the summer, they can't wait to get started again.
A fair few reds aren't best pleased at the 'transfer situation' at the club at the moment.

But since Fergie has until the end of August to sort his squad out, let's focus instead on some pleasant memories from our last game - the Champions League final.

Photography - and top right photograph - both courtesy of Mef Master
As the song goes. we should always look on the bright side of life.

The performance on the pitch in the great Stadio Olimpico not have lived up to fans' expectations, but everything in football is relative.

City haven't won anything in 33 years, the scousers got agonisingly close to trumping United in the league and, quite entertainingly failed.
And Leeds? They play Colchester in the league.
In comparison, reaching two UEFA Champions League finals in a row isn't bad going, regardless of how we did when we got there.
And there were some fantastic times along the way in both seasons, from sunning it up in Lisbon and Barcelona, to risking life and limb in Kiev and Moscow and enjoying the hospitality of Aalborg and Villareal.
In all, United played nine matches outside of England last season, giving reds the chance to visit cities far and wide with friends and family, and to see some great sights along the way.
Despite the horror stories branded about in the build up to the Barcelona final, the predicted trouble with Roma's Ultras didn't materialise.
The local police were pretty fair all around and our feedback suggests most people had a great time, bar the result, of course.
Many of those fortunate to get out there enjoyed seeing the sights in fine weather - Vatican City, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain amongst others.

Thanks for sending in your photos, some of which appear below.

We're guaranteed at least three expeditions in season 2009/10, not to mention the Community Shield trip to Wembley and other domestic adventures.

And this blog will keep you informed about the best deals to get to them all.
Feel free to email your fan pictures taken at any away game to and we'll use them where possible.

Photograph courtesy of Sam Weller

Photograph courtesy of Red Issue's sdt1986

Photography courtesy of Sam Weller

Bobby Jackon, Ayman Fazeli, Nigel Ladson, Ashley Ladson, Guy Ladson. Photograph
courtesy of Ayman Fazeli.

AFC Fylde ticket, travel and pub guide

AFC Fylde
Friday July 17, kick off 19:30
Pre-season friendly
Kellamergh Park, Warton

Kellamerh Park, in Warton holds 1,800 people. There will be no segregation.

Tickets cost £15 for Main Stand seats and £10 for all other parts of the ground which are terraced.

About 1,000 tickets have been sold. Only the £10 tickets, and a very limited number of seated tickets, remain.

United fans can buy them with a debit or credit card by calling 01772 635880 during business hours. Or you can pay at the turnstiles on the night. Gates open at 6pm.

There is no TV coverage.


According to the BBC, It will be about 18c but expect heavy rain


By car - £11
If you're using a satnav or an internet routeplanner like Greenflag, use the destination postcode PR4 1TN.

The journey takes roughly an hour from Manchester.
Head up the M61 and onto the M6 and then west on the M55. Leave at junction 3 and turn left towards signs for Kirkham.

After three quarters of a mile, take the second exit onto the B5259.

After another 500 yards, go straight on at the next roundabout and, after the railway bridge, go straight on at the mini roundabout. You will pass a pub called The Kingfisher on your left.

In another 200 yards, go straight on at the next roundabouts and drive into Wrea Green village.

At the next mini roundabout, turn left and drive for 1.8 miles, where you will reach the Birley Arms pub.

The ground is behind the pub.


You can park on the Birley Arms car park or near the ground in the adjoining field.

Parking is not allowed on the road between the pub car park and the ground, or in the spaces at the ground. These car parks will be clearly signposted and stewards will direct motorists.

By train - £13.60.

The nearest station is Moss Side (pictured left), two miles away. Kirkham and Wesham station is four miles away.

You can buy a £13.60 off-peak day return on the day. There are no other discounts available in advance.

Manchester Piccadilly to Moss Side.

To avoid extra charges, travel after 10am.
The journey takes 83 minutes.

All trains leave Piccadilly at 54 minutes past the hour and requite one change in Preston.
The last outward train we recommend taking leaves at 17:54.

Once at Moss Side, you can either take an hour-long walk to the ground or get a taxi.

Walk down Moss Side Lane towards Wrea Green and turn right onto Corka Lane. Then turn left onto Bryning Hall Lane and right onto Bryning Lane. After 10 more minutes, you'll see the ground on your left.

Call Warton Village Taxis on 01772 631115 or Kirkham Macs Taxis 01772 683003

Moss Side to Manchester Piccadilly
Having walked back or get a taxi, you should be back after the match by 21:45.

There is basically one possibly journey home.
Leave Moss Side: 22:19
Arrive Preston: 22:36
Leave: 22:47
Arrive Manchester Piccadilly: 23:44

By coach
There is no official coach.

Because of the ground's rural location, the only way you could go by coach is to go from Chorlton Street to Preston Bus Station, then take a 10-minute walk to Preston Train Station and go onwards by train (see above).

This option makes no sense though, as there are no return coaches and a one-way coach fare plus train fare is cheaper than the train fare of the above journey.


The obvious choice is the Birley Arms Hotel (pictured right), which is right next to the ground, but the inside has been reserved for 'matchday sponsors'

But the staff are putting up a marquee outside big enough for 120 guests. The locals won't mind reds drinking there and it should be a laidback affair - just don't expect super-quick service at the bar.

A 10-minute walk away on Lytham Road (walk down Church Road and turn left) is the Pickwick Tavern (pictured left), which is smaller but will be much less crowded. We definitely recommend it if you're driving to the game.

Alternatively, a bit further on down Lytham Road is The Plough Inn (pictured right), which will be even quieter, but could be a good meeting point. These two boozers are pretty far from the train station though.