Date:Wednesday December 9 2009
OK, any kind of post-match reaction must start with applauding our matchwinner: Michael Owen got a brilliant hat-trick which knocked Wolfsburg out of the Champions League. Three goals in the German champions' backyard? I'd say that is one impressive achievement. After all, the last United player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League was Ruud van Nistelrooy, he got four against Sparta Prague - in 2004.
And Owen's was a brilliant treble, make no mistake: his second was the easiest of tap-ins but the other two were more impressive. His positioning was excellent for the first and he struck a firm header; while at the third, he had to sprint from near the halfway line, outpace two defenders, all after almost 90 minutes of tireless work - yet he had the energy to do the job and he produced a cool and classy finish as well.
And it was about time, too. His winner against City aside, Owen hasn't exactly been lighting up Old Trafford so far. But this was a reminder of what he can do at his best, a ruthless display of anticipation, composure and finishing. Owen showed he's still got what it takes to perform at the highest level - and this performance might even give Sir Alex Ferguson a headache or two when it comes to select the strikers. Mind you, right now it's not much of a dilemma: only Welbeck and Owen are fit...
By the way, how ironic it is that everyone is injured except Owen? Not exactly what most of us expected when the news came through that we had signed him... but never mind that. I haven't been impressed with Owen so far but hopefully this magnificent night will give him the boost he needs. The team is in good form, we create chances in every game and Owen will get games during the upcoming Christmas period. If he can perform with similar efficiency, he might even be able to realise that damn World Cup dream of his...
Date:Wednesday December 9 2009
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