At half-time, City led 2-0 and I was preparing to attach curse-words to just about every paragraph of my review.
Its not that United were playing badly because we were actually brilliant throughout the match save for those five minutes at the end of the first half. What really irked me was the apparent lack of confidence infront of goal in the opening half. We seemed to know our way past the City midfield but were guilty of over-playing when the killer moment arrived. Carrick didn't seem up for it in that respect.
Admittedly, De Gea could have had a better debut. Obviously its just one game so for now he can keep his shirt on but the sooner he gets to grips with the task at hand the better. At Manchester United, as he will learn, one mistake will win you the back page for all the wrong reasons. David Silva's free-kick was just as perfect as Young's in the second but I thought, he should have come out and punched the ball clear or stayed on his line on his feet. The inspiring thing he did was to come off his line and go down even before Lescott made contact with the ball.
The Edin Dzeko shot was evil in all sorts of ways but still, at this club, you're only asked to make one or two brilliant saves per match so regardless of when or how they come, you should be able to keep even the most wicked of them out.
He did have a more composed second period and made a couple of saves that redeemed him somewhat.
There must have been a slight sense of resignation among the fans at half-time when they saw Sir Alex withdrawing three of his senior players for 'rookies'----given the circumstances under which they came on. But much to the awe of fans and ABUs alike, United produced a stunning second half fight-back that will live long in our memory. Only the 4-3 derby result a couple of years back would compare with what was on show yesterday.
Chris Smalling seems one of those players that has proved to the manager that he can do a job whenever called upon. But for the impressive form of Javier Hernandez last season, he could have been the signing of the season as well. His touched in effort gave the team a new belief.
The goal of the game was scored by Nani after fantastic link play between him, Cleverley and Rooney. We shall struggle to come up with a better team goal this season. I mean, after that went in, a got a call from an Arsenal fan that claimed that for a moment, we looked like Barca. Martin Keown writes for the Daily Mail that we played the Barca way for the entire match. Well, they do look good when they come off, but I'd rather we shoot when we have to and leave the fancy flicks for when we are 2-0 up.
Nani showed great willingness today. This is a player that has every reason (well, more reason than Ballotelli) to sulk at having unfairly missed out on a PFA award late last year, lost his place in the team to Valencia when he was on top of his game, and eventually missing out on a starting berth in the Champions League final last season despite being the team's most creative player. As if that wasn't enough, he saw his manager go out and sign another wide player in the summer hence increasing the competition for a starting berth. He has however, taken all that on chin and worked his way through an impressive pre-season that included netting a goal against Barcelona and now he's claimed a man of the match accolade in some style against what many perceive to be our main title rivals next year. Well done boy!
Special mention goes to Tom Cleverely for giving us reason not to dread the retirement of Paul Scholes and Danny Welbeck for staking a claim for himself as a forward to reckon with. Two cheers for the Academy!
Now that we've ensured that there will be little or no noise from our neighbours over the next couple of months, its rather a conducive atmosphere, I would think, to go about preparing to take 3 points next week at WBA.
Before that though, expect one big addition to the Manchester United set-up this week.
Labels: FA COMMUNITY SHEILD