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Manchester United Thrash Like Champions
Independent, March 31st, 2008 3:30PM

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Manchester United 4-0 drubbing of Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday might have been best team performance by any club this season. It was certainly Manchester United's best team performance. Striker Wayne Rooney, scorer of two of United's four goals, said it best: "Growing up I used to love watching Brazil and the football we play is similar to the football Brazil play. To play in this team, I love it." Hyperbole? Far from it, says the Independent's Ian Herbert: Rooney's comments might have been an understatement.

Eighth-place Aston Villa, a club that still has a chance of qualifying for Europe next season, has one of the Premier League's better away records. But United dominated all facets of this game, especially in the second half -- at one point, Rooney applauded a cross-field pass from Paul Scholes before it had even reached him.

"In terms of the Premiership ... that was really great stuff," Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill said, suggesting he could find no fault with his own players. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the first -- a back heel hit hard between the legs of his defender and passed the goalkeeper -- "has gone on to be exceptional," O'Neill exclaimed before warning that "Roma is another day." That said, Saturday's thrashing could be no better preparation for the Champions League quarterfinal. Roma, meanwhile, had a much tougher weekend, forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Cagliari while losing captain Francesco Totti to injury.

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