Chelsea vs Manchester United, Super Bowl Sunday Edition: Open Thread

The latest news from Stamford Bridge is that Chelsea is saying that the snow is no major problem, and that the match today will go ahead as planned at 11am ET/4pm GMT. FOX must be breathing a huge sigh of relief right now with it being the “Greatest live Premier League match in US television history,” after all.

Before we get to Chelsea against Manchester United, there is a big match on earlier today with Newcastle United at home against Aston Villa. Newcastle will see the return of Demba Ba to the team after his time with Senegal in the Africa Cup Of Nations. Demba Ba will start today, while new signing Papiss Cisse is on the bench. Aston Villa, meanwhile, will be buoyed by their inspired comeback mid-week against Queens Park Rangers. Kick-off is at 8:30am ET on FOX Soccer.

The conclusion of the match at St. James’s Park will lead us nicely into the pre-match discussion for Chelsea against Manchester United. If you live in the United States and your local FOX station is showing the game live, the coverage begins at 10:30am ET with analysis from Eric Wynalda and Piers Morgan. Manchester United needs a win to level with Manchester City, while Chelsea needs a win to gain some sort of respect for the club in the league this season. So far, Andre Villas-Boas has been very underwhelming whenever Chelsea has come up against Manchester United or Arsenal.

Chelsea team: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Bosingwa, Essien, Meireles, Malouda, Sturridge, Torres, Mata

Manchester United team: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Young, Rooney, Welbeck

Meanwhile, on, FOX Soccer writer Ives Galarcep writes about Soccer’s Quest to Convert New Followers, which I would reword as “FOX’s Quest to Convert New Soccer Followers.” The sentence in the article that immediately jumped out at me was this:

“As recently as the mid-90s, catching some soccer on your television [in the US] was a pipe dream.”

That’s simply not true. Premier League games have been shown live on US television since 1996.

Ives also adds:

“Sunday’s Chelsea-Manchester United match on FOX will serve as another rung in the ladder for a sport that had virtually no television presence in this country just two decades ago.”

Virtually is a poor choice of word, in my opinion. English football coverage has been shown on US television for more than two decades (since 1990, in fact).

To me, this smells like a bit of revisionist history on the part of FOX (or poor research by Galarcep). Just because English soccer was shown before FOX became involved, that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

One more thing. Galarcep’s article would have been a perfect opportunity to include a sidebar or a callout to let readers know that the Chelsea against Manchester United game isn’t being shown live on 16 FOX stations nationwide. But there’s not a word about that. It’s almost as if FOX doesn’t want people to know that some stations aren’t carrying it.

Before, during or after the match today, post your comments, questions, observations and rants or raves in the comments section below.

70 thoughts on “Chelsea vs Manchester United, Super Bowl Sunday Edition: Open Thread”

    1. I know, it’s hard. But it pisses me off when people get facts wrong — especially ones that are near and dear to my heart.

      The Gaffer

  1. Second half of Newcastle United against Aston Villa should be a good one based on what happened on the stroke of half time.

    The Gaffer

  2. well I remeber watching a match featurin arsenal vs Sheff Wed on the old Prime Network(now days FSN) in 1989. ofcourse that was a tape delay and it was on late at night. the local PBS affilitaes had showed the european cup games in the 70s in atlanta on delay and edited ofourse.

    I wish folks would stop whinning about the coverage so much, i swear its like spoiled children. just be happy they are showing it. i mean folks act like tsoccer is supposed to be the most important thing to american people.

    1. I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with the old “Just be happy they’re showing soccer” line. By those standards, it’s no wonder that some of the analysis is appalling. The bar is set way too low.

      Soccer has proven that it can garner a large viewing audience and deserves to be recognized as a major sport in the United States based on TV ratings and match attendances. We’re not living in the 80s or 90s any longer where we need to bow down and thank everyone for any coverage of soccer.

      The Gaffer

      1. I agree to a point but let’s not lose sight of the fact that FOX needed an alternative to the Super Bowl today and although soccer will never rank up with NFL football, baseball or basketball, it was a great spectacle for the curious sports fan in the US.

        It is a major sport over here to soccer fans but not to the avaerage sports fan.

        Sad but true.

    1. Absolutely. A peach of a goal. This game could end up being more entertaining than Chelsea vs Man United, just like Man City vs Spurs was more entertaining than Arsenal vs Man United.

      The Gaffer

  3. Embarrassing mistake by Rob Stone in opening minute of FOX’s coverage. Confusing Gary Cahill with Tim Cahill. Let’s hope it’s just nerves, not incompetence.

    The Gaffer

  4. I have to disagree with Eric Wynalda and Piers Morgan who both argue that John Terry’s form means that he shouldn’t be playing for England.

    While inconsistent at times, John Terry has been solid for Chelsea in the back four. Whenever he’s been faced with adversity, he seems to play better, not worse.

    The Gaffer

  5. Next….not necessarily the biggest game, but vital nonetheless. Obviously United need to keep pace with City, but if Chelsea lose they are just throwing open the door for that fourth place spot. Plenty of pressure on both sides. Could make everyone tight and bore us to tears, but we’ll see.

    United 2-1.

  6. A draw today wouldn’t be the worst result ever. Raphael needs to remember his defensive duties and not get caught out of postion.

  7. BRAVO M Owen you nailed it only in America could you get a hack like peers morgan as a expert the way peers if Pool win on Monday your gunners are back to 7th.

  8. Should the Gary Cahill tackle on Danny Welbeck been a penalty or not?

    From Howard Webb’s angle, it wasn’t as concrete. But I still think a penalty should have been awarded. Cahill went for the ball, was unable to latch on to it, tangled his legs with Welbeck and the Man United striker fell to the ground as a result.

    The Gaffer

      1. First contact was outside the box, but the foul continued into the box, which means it should have been a penalty.

        The Gaffer

    1. That’s Martin Tyler’s style. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best football commentator in the world. Some prefer more excitement a la Ian Darke, but Tyler chooses his words wisely and lets the game evolve in front of our eyes.

      The Gaffer

          1. Tyler is uncredibly Boring. his long pause, monotone voice, he should have never been on that world Cup US broadcast. keep him and Darke to britan .. if that game didnt have any scoring it would had been the worse watched sport in TV in a long time. Soccer only People need to understand Americans dont like Boring commentators, just the lil eurosnobs do

            1. I’ll ask again. So who, in your opinion, is someone that should be the commentator on this game that you would prefer? Name one.

              The Gaffer

          2. Tyler and darke arent american friendly they just like Piers morgan, onl caters to a certain audience and doesnt cross over well…. Ray Hudson is alot More american savy and sounds better than the lack of substance that Tyler or Darke brings. the LA Galaxy radio announcer is another one.

    2. @dcdiplomat… your such a tool.. TYLER is the best in the business.. quit your whining… on this and other boards.. stop watching the damn sport if you dont like the commentators… change it to basketball.. hear all the screaming you want.. idiot.

      Eurosnob Extraodinaire

      1. I think he is pandering for a JP Dellacamera, Tony Meola and John Harkes commentary crew.

        I’m going to need a stiff bottle of whiskey and a handgun if this ever comes true.

          1. watch the replay they are there lightly faded but they was there. so eurosnobs stop BS on American soccer stadiums and our fields the europeans do the same thing.

          2. No rugby team plays at the Bridge you tool. It snowed in London over night its probably from the snow removal. Go back to MLSTalk and complain with Charles.

  9. Valid appeals for the penalty from a Man United standpoint. Webb decided not to give Chelsea a foul against Torres and then didn’t give the penalty against Welbeck..stingy Howard Webb

  10. To many diagonal balls into the box from utd and not enough getting past the last defender and pulling it back for the strikers

  11. Pathetic Chelsea, no backbone in the side without Terry and Lampard. Resurrected an awfully mediocre Manure side…great game to showcase the Prem, as far as Fox is concerned!

    1. Lots of people leave every stadium early (they want to dodge the traffic that can be the difference between gettin home hours late or not) that’s what really happens in every game winning, losing or drawing it’s just something pathetic out of touch pundits go on about after the cameras have gone on these fans. If they leave within the last 10 to 8 minutes it’s quite normal what ever these dummies go on about and happens if your 3 nil up or 3 nil down. Don’t fall for the bullshxt!!

  12. Did anyone else feel like Howard Webb influenced the game a little too much? Inconsistent with the handful of penalties, United players out-foxing him. Some weak, weak calls in my opinion.

    1. The Evra one was a penalty clever by Evra he gained it but a penalty none the less. The other one was not one bit but that’s how it seems to go for Utd at the moment. At 3-0 up Chelsea should have won. De Gea’s save from Mata’s free kick was top notch but he’s still a poor keeper (for the amount they paid) in general but will get better as he’s young but no panic there. They should have bought experience although he kept the in the game today.

  13. Watching the highlights, the 2nd Manure penalty was a scandalous, awful call! Classic Howard Webb: disgusting!
    De Gea’s save at the end: wow, just wow…he needed that one badly too!

  14. Howard Webb MOTM for United as again he is conned by manure’s flopping and complaining throughout the entire match. Webb shouldn’t be allowed to officiate a United match for the rest of his career.

    1. so full of it. Cahill’s foul in the first half wasn’t called, which balances what i thought was a pretty contentious decision in the second penalty. The foul on Evra was a foul every single game. 2 penalties plus a Hernandez header and the save of the year by a much maligned de gea. 3-3 was deserved result for both.

      1. Evra lost the ball to Sturridge and then flopped and Welbeck initiated contact in the process of flopping. Chelsea won the match Webb gave manure the draw.

        1. Sturridge tackled like a forward. It’s a penalty.

          I am not going to argue that second penalty was just. It wasn’t. It was a makeup call for the penalty that should have been called in the first half. Exchange one for the other (obviously, the game would have been much different if United had gone one-nil up) and you still end up at 3-3.

  15. Once again all the complainers complain about Man United players “flopping”. Just face it Chelski were lucky to be up 3-0. 2 own goals. The second United penalty may have been iffy, but it certainly wasn’t a dive (like Frank Lampard likes to do :-)) The Cahill tackle should have been a penalty, so quit yer whinin’!!! Great comeback by the boys in red!!

    Hey, Ivan the complainer, mediocre Man Utd side may be right, but if they’re mediocre, what about the rest of the League? United are mediocre, and they’re only 2 points out!! Wake up Ive.

    1. wouldnt deny that some chelsea players dive but hardly ever seen frank dive, especially compared to players like nani, rooney, rafael, hernandez etc

  16. United get saved by Howard Webb again. That second penalty was absolutely scandalous. Fergie had a go at the linesman but excused Webb for a penalty decision that didn’t go United’s way. He has Webb in his pocket now he’s trying to get the linesmen on his side too. The man never shows class. Sir my arse.

    1. Complete bollocks…Webb had a small howler today, but the penalties were spot on. When a player makes contact with another player in the box and then throws their hands up all while throwing their leg up in the air…peno. None of the Chelsea players protested in earnest to Webb because they knew it was a legitimate foul in the box thus a peno.

  17. Slur Alex will never admit to his side’s failings and will always blame the officials and try to intimidate them whenever he can. Why did he have to complain about the linesman when both sides were hard done by the officials. He is doing what he always does which is set up the officials for United’s future games. Fergie is the biggest bully there is and the FA let’s him get away with it. I’m a Newcastle fan but am hoping Manchester City win the title.

    Great day for the Toons. It may be too much to ask for Champions league football next season but who knows what may happen as we are only a point behind Chelsea in 4th. Pardew has to be considered for manager of the year and the man and his scouts sure know how to buy talent at minimal cost.

  18. Too bad Howard Webb was again MOM for United.

    After a game like that it seems wrong to focus on the officiating but Webb’s refereeing is like an exercise in anarchy, you literally, and i mean LITERALLY, have no idea what he’s going to do.

  19. There are some ridiculous comments on this site from time to time. Just pure idiocy. Making a big deal about something and then labeling people “eurosnobs” (do those even exist? are you supposed to take them seriously?) is depressingly dumb. It’s sad that you have to consider well thought out and intelligent posts scarce here.. Not sure what attracts the fools.

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