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Brilliant, Absolutely Brilliant

United are still six points clear at the top of the table after they came from behind to beat Blackburn and Chelsea defeated Watford with another woeful display.

What a day it was. Brilliant sunshine, perfect weather conditions - it was a joy just to go outside. Of course, enjoying a delightful spring afternoon wasn't United fans' main priority as the Reds prepared to host Blackburn.

Mark Hughes' men inflicted our only home defeat last season so it was understandable that we were more than worried when Derbyshire put them ahead one minute after Vidic was stretchered off with a shoulder injury that's likely to keep him out of action for 4-5 weeks. Our key players remained injury-free - what a load of rubbish, with Gary and Vida both out...

The players' body-language told us everything about how they felt: frustrated and impatient. Hughes had his team organised obscenely well, quite an achievement from an ex-striker whose manager never thought of him as someone who would go into management. He turned out to be a competent manager and there was real danger his abilities might contribute to the disintegration of our title bid.

But I think he committed a mistake. I'm not sure he ordered his players to sit back and protect their lead at all costs but that's what they tried to do. It's possible that United's greater determination after a rousing team-talk by Fergie was simply too much for them but it's sure that their midfield fell apart, and they were pinned back into their own half for the entire second period.

A neutral would have said that it's almost impossible to withstand such heavy pressure but there very few neutrals within Old Trafford and the fans unease was noticeable as the Reds kept on missing chances. Almost everyone had a scoring chance but Brad Friedel was brilliant (I seriously start to believe that his good career was due to the fact he always gives great displays against us) and our players were wasteful and unlucky.

Rio Ferdinand ventured forward very often as he had nothing to do at the back. United dominated the game but needed a moment of inspiration from the returning Paul Scholes to break down their opponents. From that moment on, Blackburn threatened to fall apart. They were absolutely overrun as the Reds surged forward in search of a winner and, after missing unmisseable chances, it arrived, with Michael Carrick turning home the umpteenth good pass into the box.

It was really an exhibition game after that. Blackburn were powerless to avoid defeat and United scored another two with ease, thus completing a memorable rout. Four different scorers, with Giggs, Ronaldo, Park and Scholes all playing brilliantly. This United side have an impressive teamwork and team spirit and you never know who is the greatest danger. Simply, you can't hold everyone in bay, one of our matchwinners would deliver, no matter how hard our opponents try to stop us.

I will remember this game for a long time - there are very few football matches of this type: your team is looking to be in trouble for the biggest part of the game than they go mad and destroy the opposition who are suddenly looking hopeless.

By the way, hopeless. Chelsea once again helped us to prove that we are the best team in the country right now. Our magnificent second half was followed by a ridiculously poor performance by the Pensioners at the home of mighty Watford. A winning goal in the 92th minute after a terrible display? Yes, of course. Am I surprised? No, of course not.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 31 2007

Time: 10:59PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
...and ManUre are going to tell us about late, late goals?
Report Abuse
31/03/2007 23:17:00

No, we'll tell you about woeful performances week in, week out but still winning. That's what we could very rarely do but Chelsea have been doing it for three years now.
Report Abuse
31/03/2007 23:30:00

Credit where it is due Manchester United were excellent today, second half in particular. 4-1 wasn't unfair really was it, but for Bradders it would have been more. Chelsea may not have been good but they won which is the main thing for them. As for your thoughts they've done this for three-years midlothian99 complete rubbish though!
Hughes Da Man
Report Abuse
01/04/2007 00:25:00

As for the KEY players picking up injuries I still fully believe that Manchester United have not been effected as much as you would lead people to believe Zae. Look at Newcastle as a main guide (and as I've said before Rovers!) and you will know what its like to have LONG TERM injuries to key personel.
Hughes Da Man
Report Abuse
01/04/2007 00:35:00

Finally Man U get some injuries and the whining begins. Appallling for an hour with Rooney contriving to miss the easiest of chances throughout. The old men were the best players - Scholes is the only player who's a class apart. Blackburn threw it away - nothing to do with an ex-player managing the other side, I'm sure...
Report Abuse
01/04/2007 14:41:00

why even bring newcastle into the conversation if you had every player fir they still wouldnt be challenging for europe
Report Abuse
01/04/2007 16:03:00

The thought that Sparky would let United win is insaulting to Rovers Squiddy!
Hughes Da Man
Report Abuse
01/04/2007 21:11:00

Good thought rooneyisgod but not a Newcastle fan thanks but being a football fan and not just blinkered to one side I can see the bigger picture, look to them for how injuries have been a problem then you can moan, look at how they've effected Rovers also!!!
Hughes Da Man
Report Abuse
01/04/2007 21:11:00

needed to win if u want the title
Report Abuse
02/04/2007 10:14:00

weve had injuries hughes da man but they aint affected us as much because we have the best squad in the league
Report Abuse
02/04/2007 15:13:00

take it was good then from the headline :-)
Report Abuse
02/04/2007 19:40:00

Squiddy: you haven't had serious injuries in the past two seasons - finally you got some and whinging started. Appalling for an hour? Did you watch the game? Anyway, better than being appalling for seasons, I think...
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 11:57:00

Hughes, I admit Blackburn and Newcastle had more injuries. I don't think we have too many, it's the normal amount. But Chelsea did not have extraordinary amount of injuries but still they moan about them, claiming only injuries prevented them from topping the table and that's pathetic, given they have an unlimited transfer budget. Shameful, really. We coped better with our injuries, that's all.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 11:58:00

And Hughes: Chelsea are winning week in, week out by giving mediocre performances and like it or not, it's their greatest strength under Mourinho.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 12:02:00

Considering you have the biggest fan base in the country your vital site is embarrassing, then again most people from Devon can't read anyway and the other's don't speak english. If woeful is watching us crush you 3-0 to win the league then I would put up with that for life, wouldn't it be ironic if the same thing happens this year as well. As for you having the strongest squad in the league is debatable, you have an outstanding first 14/15 but I wouldn't say there is much after that. Come On Chelsea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Muppets, your just a ground full of muppets.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 14:58:00


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