A Perfect Weekend For United
United scored four goals again, equalling a 100-year-old record, Liverpool and Arsenal drew, Hargreaves returned, City finally got thrashed... could it be better?
First of all: salute our boys. They've been incredible brilliant at times against Middlesbrough. Nani fired the game into life with that amazing shot and though Boro came back and made life difficult for us, eventually the Red Machine overran them.
We needed an error from Downing but it was great to see how Nani put him under pressure and the finish was of course immaculate by Rooney. After that second goal, there was only one winner: United found their flow and rhytm and destroyed their opponents.
I wouldn't even waste my words on praising the Rooney-Tevez partnership: anyone who saw our third goal can have no more doubts about their ability to play together. But I must sing the praises of Wayne Rooney. He's on a seven-game scoring streak, his form is frightening and his Saturday performance was intimidating. He's quick, sharp, demonstrates excellent vision and technical ability as well as greater tactical awareness than ever before. He produced a record tally last season but he was nowhere near the form he's been showing in recent weeks so I expect big things from him.
Nani and Ronaldo repeatedly exchanged wings and it's not the first time this season that the younger Portuguese impressed me more. And not just because of his wonder goal: he looked more threatening and sharp than his more experienced colleague - though he also gave a very good display, mind you!
On Owen Hargreaves. Great to see him back and though he was sloppy at times, it is evident that he'll be a huge asset. Middlesbrough have some skilled players but they just could not keep the ball and that was largely down to Hargreaves' tremendous work. Hopefully he'll pick up valuable fitness during next week and will be sharp and ready for the Emirates where he will be needed more than ever.
And while on the topic of the Emirates: Arsenal are convincing me more and more as the season goes on. A wounded Liverpool can claim themselves extremely lucky to get away with a point even though they were leading for most of the game. Arsenal's attacking potential is frightening, they really should have scored more at Anfield. I expect a cracking game on Saturday and possibly a 2-2 draw which I guess would be considered a good result by either side.
But let me say a wild thing: if we win there, I can't really see anyone stopping us in claiming that 17th title. That's a bold prediction at this stage but we survived almost two months of playing badly and picked up an impressive amount of points - and now the Tevez-Rooney-Ronaldo trio is in full fligth, ably supported by Anderson, Giggs, Nani and co. We withstood terrible injury problems and if we beat the so far most impressive team of the season who could stop us?
Maybe Chelsea could, as I grudgingly have to admit that they look like contenders again. Dismantling City last season wouldn't have been a big deal but Eriksson brought them together and they've been surprisingly (and painfully, for us United fans) good so far this season. Beating them 6-0... that Lampard pass... maybe the departure of the Special One did not hurt them as much as we expected?
But back to our own boys. Shall we beat Arsenal? I don't know. Do we have a chance? Of course, why wouldn't we have? Even Carrick and Saha could be back but I must say that at the moment we don't need them very much... and that's saying something.
So, a perfect weekend: Liverpool and Arsenal shared the spoils which was the best possible scenario for us, City got tonked, we have no fresh injury concerns and scored four goals again to equal the record of that brilliant side which was led by the legendary Billy Meredith - a 100 years ago!