Wednesday, 21 September 2011
INTO THE FOURTH ROUND!
Just as I posted in the preview, even with as many as ten guesses, you couldn't possibly predict the team that Sir Alex was going to put forward on the night and indeed the manager did raise not one, but both eye brows with his starting 11. It wasn't in the alleged weakness of the side to take to the pitch but rather in the unavailability of defenders on the pitch. Fabio was the only recognised defender on pitch given that many didn't know who Fryers was.
Michael Carrick and Valencia took up their makeshift positions in defence whilst the likes of Macheda and Diouf were asked to track back more often than not in a bid to help out with wing defensive duty. As such, we had four natural strikers in the starting line-up and ended the match with Dimitar Berbatov playing centre-half.
It really did highlight the defensive problems we're having at the moment. I mean right now we can only name one back four and after that, we're a little short of bodies. You do hope that Captain Nemanja and Rio do return in time to help lift the burden on the young wall that is keeping us safe at the moment.
That aside, United's old guard did pull off an energy sapping display that in the end saw them ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Its becoming a nice habit that we seem to have at least three goals in us in just about every game.
Michael Owen did stake a claim for himself last night with two finishes that typified his predatory instincs as well as eye for goal. Ryan Giggs silenced the hostile Leeds crowd with the third just before the break to all but seal progress to the next round of a competition that seems to be the one that will provide valuable game time to some of our squad players.
Thankfully though, Sir Alex didn't have to call on anyone you think he might use for the Stoke City game this weekend so hopefully we'll be fresh for that one.