Best And Worst Of United 06/07
Premiership champions, FA Cup runners-up, Champions League semi-finalists: we had a pretty eventful season with plenty of memorable moments.
Best performance of the season
Well, no prizes for guessing which one I selected. Of course it was the demolition of Roma, probably the very finest European night ever witnessed at Old Trafford. The Italians were reduced to staring in awe as United completely overran them to score seven in a game that's outcome was never in any doubt after Carrick had scored the first goal with a magnificent shot. The Premiership witnessed a number of magnificent United displays but what we did in the second half against Blackburn was out of this world: we scored 4 goals in 30 minutes and still Brad Friedel was Rovers' best player...
Worst performance of the season
It has to be another Champions League game: at the San Siro, of course. Milan ran riot from the very first minute as United were not able to control Seedorf, Pirlo and Kaká. We hardly created a single chance and sank without trace after a promising win in the first leg. As for the league, the home draw with Middlesbrough was the lowest point for me, watching United let their lead slip. I was very much down that day.
Best game of the season
As for pure entertainment, the Roma game cannot be a candidate: it was way too one-sided for that. But I still can't get away from the Champions League and I must say that the first leg against Milan was the most thrilling game of our season. Both teams played with grace and skill, both teams had outstanding individual performers (Kaká and Rooney) and we could see moments of pure magic as well as unbelievable mistakes - a classic. In the league, it must be our miraculous comeback against Everton - that was incredible, especially the last 30 minutes.
Worst game of the season
The FA Cup final deserves a mention of course but once again I believe it was the Champions League where we produced the most extreme things: the defeat at Kobenhavn was a real stinker, that was simply awful for everyone but the Danes. Premiership-wise I must say that the dull draw at Chelsea was probably the most boring match, with both sides resting a number of players.
Best United goal of the season
Scholes at Aston Villa, Ronaldo at Fulham, Saha v Chelsea: all deserve to be named but the outstanding one, for me, was the second goal against Roma (yes, Champions League again...). Carrick getting the ball in our own half, knocking it out wide to Heinze who passed it at once into Ryan Giggs' path. His half-lob found Smith behind the Roma defenders and Smudger confidently put the ball into the corner of the net. Brilliant.
Best goal scored against United
Manuel Fernandes turned Brown inside out at Goodison Park before sending a fierce shot under the bar but in terms of pure quality, none can beat De Rossi's exquisite finish at Old Trafford after Totti's cross found him in the box - with United 6-0 up...
Worst United mistake of the season
Evra clattering into Heinze during the first half of the Milan game is painful enough but that was nothing compared to Portsmouth's second goal. Pompey did very little for that goal: they watched from a comfortable distance as Rio slotted the ball into the net with Van der Sar stepping into the opposite direction...
Best opposing player we had to face
Kaká. Should I explain?
Most wonderful moment (for me)
When the final whistle had been blewn at Stamford Bridge on April 28 and almost at the same time, Chris Eagles scored our fourth goal at the Goodison Park. We won the title on that day and we knew that! John O'Shea's goal at Anfield is a very close second though - once again, I doubt I should explain why!
The lowest point (for me)
The draw against Middlesbrough. Forget the Cup final or the disappointment at the San Siro: the league game against Southgate's men filled me with fear that we might lose the title that looked destined to head to Old Trafford.
Next review: Assessing United's performance in each competitions.