At 2-0 down away from home at Villa Park, Manchester United suddenly woke themselves up and fought to go home with something. Sir Alex Ferguson claimed if the game had gone for a further 5 minutes, we would have won.
The fact we salvaged a point does not make up for the shocking display up until the 80th minute, but it does say something about our mentality. After crumbling in the last few minutes against sides like Everton and Fulham earlier this season, how refreshing it was to see our lads get stuck in and fight for the points they had, up until that point, thrown away.
All the talk of our unbeaten run and how draws weren’t good enough, United were on the brink of defeat. We went 1-0 down on 72 minutes, 2-0 down on 76 minutes, and the lads had to contemplate was coming. The unbeaten run that we don’t care about, that the press makes a big deal about, would be used as a stick to beat us with once it had ended. Not just losing, but being totally outplayed and outdone by a young team.
Then you look at Chelsea, who impressively hadn’t conceded a single goal before today, who crumbled under the pressure of letting their record go. 1-0 down just before half time, 2-0 down 7 minutes in to the second half, and with 38 minutes to get back in the game, Chelsea didn’t look interested. So much so, after going months without conceding at home, they let in a third just a few minutes from time, scored by Man of the Match Danny Welbeck.
We only picked up 1 more point than them this weekend and over the course of the week, picked up 1 point less, but we learnt something about the difference in the mentality of the teams. Chelsea are laughing when they go a goal or two ahead, but when their back is up against the wall, they haven’t got the fight in them.
Is it a blow because of the bizarre decision to get rid of Ray Wilkins? Is it because they’re without a couple of players? Who knows, but with just three points in it, I hope more teams question Chelsea now following Sunderland’s example.