1. Dimitar Berbatov, you beauty. Fancy scoring three hattricks in one season? Fancy scoring more hattricks than Rooney has goals? 17 in 19 games is some return, at long last! This is the way a striker we paid £30m should be playing. Now, surely it’s time the fans treated him the way the Premiership’s top scorer should be. The Stretford End sung his song twice today, following his first two goals, and that was that. What does he have to do to earn the adulation Rooney gets for attempting a 40 yard pass that goes out of play or missing a free header from two yards out? It wasn’t just his goals. His sliding tackle which won the ball back, as well as the one two with Rooney, in the lead up to the 3rd. Brilliant today and three goals clear of any striker in the league.
2. Birmingham were as woeful as we were excellent today. It could and should have been more than 5, but with a goal difference better than any other side, despite playing at least one game less than the others, it’s not a big worry. Even John O’Shea and Darron Gibson looked decent. It’s fairly bitchy to claim that is simply because Birmingham were so bad… but maybe a bit true? A totally different side away from home than they are at St. Andrews. Maybe Blackburn were the worst side to come to Old Trafford this season, but Birmingham certainly give them a run for their money.
3. Nani was half the irritating player he was of 2008/9 and half the most effective player we have of 2010. He has so much ability and pace. He skinned his marker time and again, making it look totally effortless. He kept balls in play that no other player on the park would have been able to. He delivered an inch perfect cross to Rooney’s head which should have resulted in a goal. He scored a great goal for himself. But it was hard work to get him there. How many times he beat his marker and played an awful ball in. How many times he had a team mate in a great possession and opted to lash the ball miles off target instead. So annoying. But you can’t argue with his 11 assists and 7 goals this season.
4. Defensively, we did well today. Aside from that open goal they managed to miss, we squashed out any threat. Chris Smalling continues to impress. He’s like mini-Rio. Great feet, composed on the ball and impressive strength. I like him a lot already. Edwin Van der Sar was on the end of lots of praise from the Stretford End, particularly when his blast up the field was perfectly brought down by Rooney in the lead up to the fourth goal. I hope chanting his name is a habit that catches on for all the remaining games in his last season.
5. You jinx things by saying “it’s ours to throw away” but I could look at the league table for hours right now. Ten points clear of Chelsea on the same games, three points clear of City having played two games less, and two points clear of Arsenal having played one game less. “We’re shit and we’re top of the league” did the round today. Ok, so we’re not shit, but we’re a long way from being as good as we could be. When you look how Chelsea have declined in light of Didier Drogba’s poor form in front of goal, it’s amazing we’re doing so well without Rooney’s goals. Antonio Valencia’s return next month should help remedy that though. As for going unbeaten, it’s really not something I care less about, just like setting records for clean sheets or points totals doesn’t really bother me. I just crave 19 so badly and it’s tantalisingly close right now.