In my tips for the game, I had Paul Scholes down for first scorer in a 2-1 win. £670 on offer for those of you who fancied it! I wonder what odds the bookies would have given you for a Scholes header though. Perfectly placed by Scholesy from a Wayne Rooney cross, and he amazingly went on to be named Man of the Match at Setanta. Given the frequency at which he gave the ball away, this came as a surprise, but I suppose it was slim pickings!
What the fuck is going on with our team? There just seems to be nothing like the desire or hunger we saw a couple of months ago. The players insist it isn’t tiredness, so what is it?
Part of me wasn’t happy to see Federico Macheda come on. I liked the magic of his Aston Villa substitute appearance and couldn’t believe he would actually do it again. So, I guess that’s what makes football bloody brilliant, because he did do it again, with his first touch of the ball! Purposefully putting away a Michael Carrick shot, Macheda deserves all the attention he is getting at the moment.
The Rooney-Berbatov-Tevez formation was a shambles at Anfield and it wasn’t much better today. Berbatov was a surprise inclusion today and he looked rusty. As the final whistle went, Berbatov was back on the bench with his foot iced, looking desperately disappointed.
Rooney was lively and effective like usual, but all from the left of the park. Why, why, why? Just because Rooney is capable of playing pretty much every position, it doesn’t mean he should be forced to prove it every week. Stick him in the middle and let him go where he likes. We will reap the benefits!
I thought Ronaldo made a bright contribution to the game after he came on. Looks threatening on the attack and he even tracked back! It seems as though the manager has had words and backed that up by dropping him to the bench. Fingers crossed for more of the same from Ronaldo over the next few weeks!
Sunderland put up a good fight and were desperately unlucky at times, particularly when a first half attempt came back off the woodwork. I’m not sure how much of their performance was down to them playing well or us playing dreadfully, but there were periods of the game where they were on top and were more than capable of putting a good ball in to the box.
Their goal came from a mistake by Ben Foster, who misjudged the height of a cross coming in and lunged at it. He was never going to get enough on it to clear the danger and let Kenwyne Jones in to finish off the gift he was presented.
United probably did have the best of the chances though, with Rooney coming close on a number of occasions, Park almost scoring our second just before half-time, and a desperately close effort from Paul Scholes. Add to that the goal-line clearance from a Vidic header in the first half, as well as the great blocking to keep Tevez out, and an opportunity Berbatov should have done much better with it, and United could have been left to rue their inability to put these chances away.
I’m starting to wonder whether we’ll be able to see it to the end of the season like this, crawling over the finish line. Chelsea and Liverpool have a better goal difference than us, meaning we’re really going to have to make the most of our game in hand in a weeks time.
Again, it’s the points not the performance we’ll be looking at, and again it’s Kiko we’re thanking!