Job Done But A Bit More Efficiency Please
United deservedly beat Blackburn 2-0 in Saturday's late kick-off and kept up the pace with leaders Chelsea. But goal difference might become a problem if we do not match their ruthlessness.
Because United were creative enough, had enough chances to win several games yet just could not turn the superiority into a more comfortable win which is a problem. Of course it would be helpful if we did not sleep through the first half hour like we did today...
Blackburn came for one point: they defended deep, their attacking play was about hoofing aimless long balls forward which weren't threatening at all, even though we had an unusual centre-back pairing of Evans and Brown as Rio and Vidic have not recovered in time.
But even though Rovers parked the bus we did not press home the territorial advantage in the first half hour and only in the last 15 minutes of the first half did we come alive but the game almost exploded: Berbatov could have had a hat-trick but for Robinson's saves and Nani's slow thinking. Yet the first half ended goalless.
The second was much better: we did not wait 30 minutes to start testing Rovers' defence and we were rewarded soon when Evra's mishit shot was brilliantly hammered home by Dimitar Berbatov. A world-class finish if there ever was one.
This should have opened the floodgates but United insist on keeping us on the edge of our seats this season and profligacy is one of the main instrument in this quest. Even though Berbatov and Rooney combined well in attack, Nani was dreadful again while Valencia was quelled by Rovers simply: they just showed him onto his left foot all the time and we all know how reluctant he is to use that.
The two central midfielders, Carrick and Anderson, did not play as deep in the second half as they did in the first and that did wonders for our display but we have to take our chances. Obertan, the man replacing Nani, should have sealed the win twice but made the wrong decision on both occasions - the second was a totally astonishing miss.
In the end it was the impressive Rooney who put the result beyond doubt, turning in the equally impressive Anderson's low cross but Allardyce had good reasons to be aggrieved after their late goal was wrongly ruled out for offside. But Rovers did not deserve anything from this game and while United weren't magnificent, we were comfortably good enough to beat what was in front of us and we should have scored more. A good day in the office but plenty of room for improvement, with Stamford Bridge looming large.