Date:Saturday March 6 2010
Oh God. Rooney was out, Anderson, Giggs, Owen, O'Shea are all injured as well - so United started with a very patchy XI indeed. Fletcher was rested for the Milan game - wisely, seeing that Carrick is suspended - so United lined up with a Scholes, Carrick, Gibson midfield three, supporting the frontal trio of Valencia, Berbatov and Nani.
Vidic and Ferdinand were back together, with Brown at right-back - a throwback to 2007/08, really. But the performance was, there's no better word for it, dismal.
The team seemed to lack hunger and motivation, the players were clearly anxious not to pick up injuries ahead of next week's CL clash against AC Milan and it negatively impacted on their performance. We were slow, we were lacking in ideas and creativity and we weren't as good at the back as we should have been.
Fortunately enough Wolves lacked the quality to punish our sloppiness but Kevin Doyle could have opened the scoring with a free header from 8 yards out which he managed to head over the bar. United could barely create chances at the other end, our most dangerous effort was a tame Carrick shot that was easily dealt with by Hahnemann.
I guess some harsh words were spoken during the break as a much more focused United came out for the second half. We had chances to open the scoring - and then Fergie brought on Mame Biram Diouf.
I was happy to see him replacing Gibson who had an OK game but something had to be done as we lacked attacking impetus. But to my horror, Diouf produced a distinctly Tevez-ish performance: lots of aimless running around and the first touch of a clumsy camel. Oh, and he wasted a golden chance, too.
By that time, though, we were one up even though our football was disjointed, to put it mildly. But out of the blue, Scholes picked up a loose ball in the box, ghosted past two challenges and fired it into the net from close range. An excellent goal, his 100th in the Premier League and one that sent us top of the Premier League.
Because that's where we've ended up, even though we did our best to throw the win away: Carrick gave the ball away in his own area (no comment...) and suddenly Vokes had a golden chance in injury time but he blazed it way over the bar. Luck? Yes. Deserved win? Not really. Do we care? No, not at all. Three points with half of the first team out ahead of an important Champions League tie. I'd take that any day, honestly.
Date:Saturday March 6 2010
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