Date:Sunday November 12 2006
United are three points clear at the top of the Premiership, following a 1-0 victory at Ewood Park against a spirited Blackburn side. That's really good.
Chelsea thrashed Watford, but we expected nothing else so that's not exactly a hammer blow so let's concentrate on United who collected three points with an uncharacteristically efficient performance.
I mean, being a United fan is like being on a rollercoaster all the time. Our games are usually full of end-to-end action, the teams create chances galore - the Celtic match perfectly epitomised United's character. But not this one.
The Reds' were solid at the back, controlled the midfield, created some chances and scored from one of these. Of course, there were occasional hiccups along the way to victory (Edwin's fingertip clearance, Khizanisvili's header that whistled inches wide) but all in all, a tough, attack-minded Rovers were kept at bay while on the other end United were threatening throughout.
I know that Blackburn are not in their best form right now, losing their fourth successive league game. But we all know how teams usually pull themselves together for United so we must acknowledge the performance. It's possible that I tend to overestimate the positive signs I have seen yesterday but let me make my point.
We haven't signed a real, tough-tackling defensive midfielder in the summer and there were games which showed our deficiencies on his front: Celtic and Arsenal, to name two. But I expected Blackburn to capitalise on this and they failed to do it. Partly because they are out of form and partly because the Scholes-Carrick and the Vidic-Ferdinand duo seems to have gelled together really well. We haven't had a settled defensive and central midfield pairing for long, long years now and now we see how much does it count.
Of course, we must acknowledge the front men's performance, too. I'll be bold and straightforward: I think United's attacking quartet (Rooney, Saha, Ronaldo, Giggs) are currently the best in Europe as Ronaldinho's form is inconsistent and Samuel Eto'o is injured. Yesterday, Rooney could have scored a hat-trick, Ronaldo had chances and it was Saha who finally scored from Giggs' assist... We can't tell whether the lads can keep up their current form but two things are sure: Manchester United are a very good side and the team will provide a lot of really good performances until the end of the season. That may not win us anything our chances for silverware are better than at any time in the last 3 seasons.
Date:Sunday November 12 2006
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