Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Joy in Germany!

Michael Owen scored the second hat-trick of his career in Germany as an injury-ravaged Manchester United were too good for their German hosts.

Owen nodded home Nani's cross from the left a minute before the interval to give United the lead, only for Dzeko to equalise 10 minutes into the second half in similar fashion. With Wolfsburg pushing for a winner, Obertan displayed some dazzling footwork in the penalty box before squaring for Owen to score into an empty net. But perhaps his best was saved for last, the ex-Liverpool striker running on to a through-ball from the half-way line from Anderson to out-pace the trailing defenders and slot over the goalkeeper to complete a hat-trick.

With Fletcher and Carrick forming the central defensive partnership and Ji-sung Park at right back, Evra was the only recognisable defender on the pitch for the Red Devils. The defensive unit struggled at times with crosses from the wings and should have been punished but for Wolfsburg's woeful finishing. However, it was a great team performance and Ferguson couldn't have asked for more. Obertan looks classier with each game, Carrick could easily have been mistaken for Ferdinand at the back, and Owen gave a loud reminder to Capello that he's still worth a World Cup place.

His last hat-trick on German soil came in an England shirt on that memorable night in Munich where England hammered Germany 5-1 in a World Cup qualifier.

Eight years on, Owen may not possess the lightning quick speed that terrorised the German defence on that night, but he does however, still have the deadly finishing. He scored his three goals from four shots during the 90 minutes, a deadly strike rate for any centre-forward.

Manchester United have now finished top of their Champions League group and await their Last 16 opponents which could turn out to be either the minnows of Unirea Urziceni or European heavyweights and seven-time winners, AC Milan.

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