Another One Down, 11 To Go
One of the worst performances of the season resulted in a 2-0 victory over a hopeless Charlton side. United were wonderfully poor but still won the game.
Carrick and Ronaldo were not risked due to their minor injuries but their replacements, Park and Fletcher performed admirably so our lacklustre display could not be blamed on the absence of key players.
Charlton were brave but lacked imagination and never really threatened after our lucky first goal. We could not clinch the victory until the 83th minute due to the poor performance of Scholes, Saha and the full-backs who just could not deliver in attack.
Pardew's strategy focused on eliminating the threat of Rooney and Saha and it worked fairly well. Wayne had a fantastic moment in the first half and he played quite well in the second, creating a goal but Saha was absolutely invisible. But in attack, Pardew's creativity evaporated and Charlton failed to get past the towering presences of Ferdinand and Vidic.
Scholes was very quiet, did not dare to make his pinpoint passes and he was pathetic when it came to dribbling. He wasn't as assured on the ball as usual, unlike Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher who picked up Scholes' duties and worked well as a creative force but the strikers could not get through Charlton's defensive wall.
We were a bit slow in the build-up and seemed to suffer from a lack of concentration so I assume this one-week break will serve the team well. The most important is that we're six points clear and now it's only 11 games to go.
Gary Neville 6