Monday, October 24, 2011

Humiliation for Manchester United

 Words like "embarrassment" "suicidal"  "crazy football" and "worst day in football" aren't often heard around Old Trafford, but those were the words being spoken at 3.30 on Sunday afternoon by United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. And the fact that Manchester City were at United's home ground made it all the worse!

Losing 6-1 is never much fun, but when it meant that your arch-rivals consolidated their lead at the top of the Premiership by 5 points it's hard to swallow.

Fergie's team selection clearly wasn't up to much, unusually for him, and even the substitutions brought little impact to the game. United were outclassed in all areas, and without Vidic the defence was pretty woeful.

Of course it doesn't help when you are playing for half of the match with only 10 men. Jonny Evans brought down  Balotelli on the edge of the box and was red-carded. By the time Fletcher scored in the 81st minute it was too late, and it didn't all end on 90 minutes as 2 more goals were added by Silva (90+1) and Dzeko (90+3).

The vast majority of the 75,487 crowd will have gone away from the ground very unhappy, not just with the result, but the way it happened.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Manchester United Fortunate to get Draw at Anfield

If Sir Alex Ferguson had the intention of going to Anfield and coming away with an away draw he was successful. A draw against such opposition as Liverpool can rarely be considered a bad thing.

And the fact that Manchester United looked for the most part out of sorts and disjointed makes it an even better result.

Yes, Sir Alex rotated the team following the week's Internationals, that was to be expected. And following Wayne Rooney's not so good week in which he was given a 3-match ban in England's European matches, I suppose keeping him out of the starting line up against Liverpool made some sense. But, not just the players, but the tactics seemed wrong.

It's understandable that the United manager wanted a fresh XI for matches in the Champions League and against Manchester City in the coming week. And, as it turned out, a loss is what needed to be avoided, but it was a gamble that only just paid off.

Liverpool were the better, more cohesive team. They went in the lead in the second half through a Gerrard free kick where the United wall failed to keep together as Giggs broke away and the ball flew through the gap.

Minutes later one of the three United substitutes, Javier Hernandez, does what he does so well, score, to bring the sides level at 1-1. And that's how it finished. Whether it was a point gained or two points dropped is open to debate, but judging from the way United play I'd go for the former.

The double blow was that Manchester City went to the top of the Premiership after their 4-1 demolition of Aston Villa.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Manchester United Stay Top of Premiership

Manchester United stay top of the Premiership on goal difference (just!) after beating Norwich at home by 2-0. The goals came in the second half, courtesy of Anderson and Danny Welbeck.

Meanwhile Blackburn Rovers, at home to Manchester City, lost 0-4, after a boring first half. A protest aganst the Blackburn manager was held by supporters after the match.

Even Newcastle United are reaching unchartered heights as they went to third after their win over Wolves.

Manchester United were certainly not at their best, and things only really got lively after Ryan Giggs came on. Yet again, his distance passing was top quality.