Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant!
Those were the first words i uttered at the final whistle on Saturday evening. Manchester United have effectively held themselves out as Champions Elect going into the title run-in of March and April. Such was the reward for going to a usually tricky Craven Cottage and coming away with all three points to win yet another psychological battle against rivals City [who had to watch and pray that we do not make the gap 10 before Sunday].
There's not many times when I'll have no qualms about a United performance, and yes, there were aspects of our game to be worried about on Saturday, but as the gaffer said, the name of the game at this stage of the season is winning. There were many situations from which we could have lost a goal during the game, [including the fact that Fulham defaulted on one or two electricity bills] but our lads stuck to the task. We rode our luck when it came our way, but the players worked hard to make that luck count. They'll be talk of how many times Fulham were lucky to clear a ball off the line or be saved by the woodwork, but when it mattered, we also had a couple of players on the line that made goal saving clearances [including RVP for good measure].
Craven Cottage is one of the tiny venues in the EPL in terms of pitch size and that usually provides for a poisonous atmosphere and an intensity about games there. It makes winning 1-0 there remarkable. Whereas most of the team was on point yesterday, it has to be mentioned that Nani and Rooney had a marked improvement in their games compared to recent ones. I mean its hard not to say that the manner in which Rooney scored that goal told of a de ja vu moment as it was Ronaldo, cutting in from the same position at about the same angle shooting for the same far corner of the goal that Rooney found. Interestingly, it was also around the same time in the season. That goal at the time took us 6 points clear in the title race. On Saturday, Rooney's has eventually left us 9 points ahead of our nearest rivals. It's hard to imagine that United will throw it away from this position, but again, stranger things have happened.
I also thought Rio Ferdinand was immense at the back and still looks good for another year at the club.
Ultimately though, these 2 wins this week have if anything cemented our position as the elect-Champions come May and now its a matter of kicking on and taking a threshold of a title that we should have also won last season.
Next up is an International break, meaning its that time again when we sit and hope and pray that all our players return in rude health.
Everton provide the opposition in our next fixture---the one that arguably cost us the title last season. There's a bit of revenge to exact me thinks.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!