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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Treble a Vain Hope, United Says

LONDON -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said the treble was likely to remain an impossible dream for English clubs after watching his side lose its chance of creating soccer history.


Aston Villa's 3-1 upset victory in the League Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday denied United the chance of being the first club in England to win the League Championship, the FA Cup and the League Cup in the same season.


And while they are still in with a realistic chance of lifting the double, achieved only three times this century, the defeat could mark the turning point of a season in which they have threatened to win everything and could end up with nothing.


"I never spoke of trebles, I left that to other people," Ferguson said.


"If you are also involved in Europe as we have been this season, it becomes even harder. You need so much luck in cup-tie football and if the breaks go against you like they did today, you have no chance."


The possibility of the treble mounted from the end of September as it put together an unbeaten run of 34 matches.


But the 16-point lead they once held in the title race has been cut to just three, they have lost the League Cup Final and face a potentially awkward FA Cup semifinal against a rejuvenated Oldham back at Wembley in two weeks time.


Sunday's defeat was the latest setback for United in a poor run which started when it lost its long unbeaten record to Chelsea on March 5.


Since then it has stuttered in the League dropping nine points in its last five games and been shown four red cards in five matches.


In contrast to United, who have won three major trophies in the last four years, Aston Villa's last big success came in 1982 when it won the European Cup.


Sunday's victory was its fourth in the League Cup final, a record it share with Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.





Former England boss Graham Taylor returned to club soccer Tuesday as the new manager of English first division side Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Taylor, who resigned as national coach in November after failing to qualify for this year's World Cup finals, signed a three-year contract with Wolverhampton, the club said.He succeeded Graham Turner who quit two weeks ago after almost eight years in charge, during which time he took the club from the fourth division to the first.





Pele, who will be at the first match of the World Cup in Chicago this summer, is discussing a possible involvement in professional soccer in the United States and says sex before a match can be OK


The Brazilian soccer legend, meeting sports reporters Monday, also named Brazil as his cup favorites with striker Romario as the likely star, but he comments on the pros and cons of pre-match sex proved more eye-catching.


"Some people need sex to be calm. Some players don't care. It's up to the players," Pele said, replying to a question about the Swiss team's sex ban.


According to Swiss tabloid Blick, English coach Roy Hodgson has ordered his men to stay celibate from June 7. Pele said his personal preference was to rest before the match.