It appears that Manchester United this season, besides forgetting how to defend, have forgotten how to draw matches. It's either a win or a draw. By the end of the first half on Saturday evening, it appeared that Norwich weren't about to lose the match, so the only other result was a defeat for us.
It's still November and we've already posted three league defeats. At the moment, its hard to imagine that we'll reach may with less than 6 of them--which doesn't necessarily translate as title-winning form.
It's true that we've not had this total of points at this stage since 2002 but you can't ignore the fact that City have raised the bar a bit and we shall need to pick up at least a point in games that aren't going our way. It's why we've won more games than them but are still behind them in the league. Their ability to take a point in every game so far this season has kept them in touch and now in the lead.
Secondly, in just a week, they've wiped clean our goal difference lead with them by taking their chances on Saturday to post a 5-0 win. It's the kind of ruthlessness we shall need as well if we are to avoid the hurt of last season.
As far as the game-proper is concerned, it was gutting to see Ryan Giggs in the starting line-up when we have a dead-rubber on Tuesday where his experience would come in handy given the kids that will be on show. His presence in the starting line-up ahead of Cleverly and Anderson or even Scholes was baffling especially when you consider that Giggs and Carrick have never really worked out a relationship in the middle without the help of a third body. The saddest bit though is that its not the last time that we shall see them as a pair in the middle. Our midfield was a highway for Norwich and because of that, we never really looked like getting a foothold of proceedings.
It was a painful three points to lose after working so hard to be in this position. I talked of the next four games being winnable if we put our minds to it, but we've now allowed City the initiative again. It will be crucial to go into that derby with a certain level of confidence but at the moment, its increasingly looking impossible that we'll be able to keep out City at the back or out-score them at the other end. Winning all our games up to that game would have planted one or two seeds of doubt in their minds, but now they'll look at that result and wonder if we really are a true reflection of our position in the league table.
We've got a dead-rubber CL game tomorrow, but you hope that the manager doesn't put out a side that can defend the shirt of the club. That said I'd have taken a 4-0 hammering tomorrow if it meant that we won at the weekend 1-0.