Seven games left and another crucial win in the bag---If anyone ever doubted the truth in Manchester United's customary close season relentlessness, then yesterday was more evidence to it. There was a general feeling across England that United were in the least, not going to win on Monday against a Blackburn side that also won at Old Trafford just after Christmas, so much so that Roberto Mancini, after watching his side fail to win for the second time in a week, predicted a draw on Monday night.
The reality was that United had won just 2 of 11 trips to Ewood Park and none since we had Christiano Ronaldo in our team, so it was not hard to see where the pessimism came from.
This season however, is different from any other season that Sir Alex has take us through. Only the Busby Babes can claim to have scored as many goals in the league as this team has amassed at this stage of the campaign. We've also never scored five goals or more on as many occassions as we've done this season. As it stands, we're on the verge of breaking our points record tally in the league and on course to break the all time record of points tally of 95 held by Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.
What I'm trying to say is that we've never been as good in the league as we've been this season. Such has been the determination to see off Manchester City's attempt at possessing our trophy for a year.
It's a given that there are many things about Manchester United that are hard to explain, but I did chuckle last night when Any Townsend failed to explain how a seemingly well worked game plan by Rovers had suddenly been undone by an impossible goal by Antonio Valencia. To be fair to him, nobody could see it coming. Whereas it was always likely that United would eventually find a way through courtesy of a mistake by Steve Kean's well oiled machine or something of the sort, it never seemed likely for the mere reason that they seemed to have our Plan A (get the ball to Valencia) and Plan B (try through the middle) in their back pockets. Valencia's goal cannot in any way be blamed on any Rovers player so poor Andy was left with only the words 'They are Man United' to explain the turn of events.
I personally thought that Blackburn could have been undone much earlier with a little bit of modification of Plan A. Blackburn did always have taller men in the middle to meet crosses from Tony V and let's face it, neither Rooney nor Chicha were ever going to out-muscle them in the air for a header. But I thought if Tony had whipped in more crosses on the ground rather than in air, we would have got one of those own goals or have the ball at the feet of our forwards much more often; e.g the Hernandez chance in the first half that came within inches of making it over the line.
Special mention to David De Gea and Rio Ferdinand for ensuring that we remain level even as we searched for the breakthrough. It has to be said though, that just about every player yesterday deserved a pat on the back.
When all is said and done, GREAT STUFF by United yesterday. We've made City pay the full price of imploding at this crucial stage of all stages of the season. We now play before them on Easter Sunday against QPR with an almighty chance to go 8 points clear before they kick-off at the Emirates.
GET THE CHAMPAGNE ON ICE!!