Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic awaits his fate over Club World Cup dismissal

29 January 2009 10:34
Vidic was shown the red card for swinging an elbow into the face of Claudio Bieler during United's 1-0 win in Yokohama and is facing up to a three-match ban – covering Uefa-regulated competitions – when Fifa sit in judgment on Friday.

It means Vidic could end up sitting out both legs of the upcoming Champions League match against Inter Milan and the start of the quarter-final, should United make it through.

United officials are pointing to the leniency shown to AC Milan's Kakha Kaladze when he was dismissed in the same competition two years ago as some kind of precedent, although Fifa have stated they will hear the case on its merits.

If Vidic is ruled out for an extended period, it would be a major blow for Ferguson as the 27-year-old has proved to be one of Europe's most accomplished defenders and was the cornerstone of United's Champions League-winning team last season.

He is also a regular goalscorer and found the net for the sixth time this season in Tuesday's 5-0 win at West Bromwich Albion, which allowed them to take a two-point lead at the Premier League summit.

Midfielder Ryan Giggs said: 'We knew winning the tournament in Japan would set us up nicely for when we came back.

'That is exactly what happened. No-one really capitalised on us being away and things have turned out just the way we hoped, maybe even a little bit quicker than we expected.'

Eleven games without conceding a goal is a simple enough reason for United shooting up the table. Yet that run has been achieved by a defence that has suffered a succession of major injury problems and a strike force that, until Tuesday night, had found difficulty in hitting the net.

Indeed, during successive games against Wigan and Bolton earlier this month United went 178 minutes without scoring, yet still emerged with six points thanks to Wayne Rooney's first-minute goal against the Latics and Dimitar Berbatov's last-gasp effort at the Reebok Stadium.

Source: Telegraph

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 14:57