How To Become Champions
Sparking displays from Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Ji-sung Park earned a resounding 4-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers.
After all the comments about our luck with injuries, referees and other important aspects of the game, United provided an answer in the adequate manner for everyone who doubted our capability to last the distance.
This 4-1 victory does not necessarily mean that we're destined to go all the way. It's a lot simpler than that. There was a smaller debate round the nation whether winning ugly is the hallmark of champions or just simply outrageous luck. Well, United, after surviving the injury of their skipper, ended this debate by producing a performance that can be described as the exact opposite of ugly.
The game itself proved that when Ronaldo and Rooney are granted enough space and are on song, we are unstoppable. Bolton's occasionally naive defending (Bolton and naive defending in the same sentence? A truly unusual article is forming here...) made their job even easier and we ran riot in the first 25 minutes, scoring three goals and creating several chances.
Of course, the most astonishing in this game is the brace scored by Park, the man who was believed to be unable to find the back of the net from the goalline. What happened in the 6th minute did nothing to dispel these beliefs, in fact, strengthened them very much as our hard-working Korean blasted the ball over the bar from 2 yards out. I just sat there and could not believe it but the Asian was undeterred, he shrugged off his error to give us a lesson in clinical finishing.
Finishing is something Ronaldo excelled in this season but today he was provider, playing a role in all of our first-half goals. Just the other day I had read an article that stated Ronaldo was not the best player of the world (what I'm ready to accept if the evidence is there) as he had not scored in the Champions League yet. It's rubbish, no doubt but I have developed a liking for using statistical datas to support my opinion since I had read that article. So I believe Ronaldo must be the player of the season as his 16 goals and 11 assists put him on the very top of the list of individual performers. Didier Drogba's 18 goals are admirable but he's a striker, not a winger and his 3 assists are dwarfed by the amount Ronaldo amassed this season.
In the case of Rooney, statistics do not suggest he had a below-par season. Twelve Premiership goals with 9 assists talk about a decent contribution but we know what he's capable of and that's much more than what he actually produced this year. But that was enough for him to become the nightmare of Jaaskalainen as he scored 5 goals against Bolton's Finnish keeper this season. Quality stuff, I tell you.
But of course all the things I've written are boring for you who expected me to tell you how to become champions. Well, if you're Liverpool fans, don't read on, you wll be extremely disappointed because even I can't help you.
However, if you cheer on the mighty Red Devils, then mathematics will tell you we need to win six games out of eight to seal that coveted ninth Premiership title. That does not sound a tall order, considering we won 24 out of 30 so far. But of course those numbers mean we have to win at least two of our four viciously difficult away games: Chelsea, Portsmouth, Man City and Everton. That might be worrying for the average fan but think about it: if Chelsea will lose any of their matches, they are almost surely doomed. They MUST take all three points from ALL their remaining games - now that's a task.