1. Congratulations lads. The title is not won yet but congratulations for putting us in a position where we need just one point to make it 19. Well done you bloody lovely things, you. You bloody brilliant boys. Well done.
2. As far as starts to football games go, it couldn’t get an awful lot better than that. You’re desperate for a good start to these games but even in your wildest dreams you don’t imagine being 1-0 up with less than a minute played. David Luiz, who was a thorn in our side in the away leg, got caught after good work from Ryan Giggs and Ji-Sung Park set up Chicharito for the winner. The lad is just a born goalscorer. The composure he showed to slot that past Cech so early on in the game was brilliant.
3. Whilst not underestimating what a difference that early goal had on the result, forgive me whilst I overindulge on the praise for Park Ji-Sung, who, despite what Sky Sports said, was the Man of the Match. Time and again he won in the ball in positions you wouldn’t expect any player to. He moved the ball around quickly and didn’t stop running. If Chelsea had a player on the pitch working half as hard as him there might have been a bit of competition in that first half. As it was, he was head and shoulders above everyone and shook up the opposition almost as much as that opening goal.
4. After showing we were capable of controlling the game, it was so important to get that second goal. For some reason, the crowd still seem to get excited when we’re awarded corner, despite being consistently useless. More often than not they go to the first defender. If they make it past the first defender, the goalie will collect or another defender will get it away. We took the corner short though, Ryan Giggs continued to wind back the years to make his man look a dick, and whipped in a lovely cross for Captain Vidic to head home.
5. Being honest, it should have been more than two. Just off the top of my head, there were those powerful shots from distance from Park and Rooney in the first half, both of which forced good saves from Cech. In the second half, Antonio Valencia didn’t well down the right, before Chicharito beat his man and pulled it back for Rooney. He couldn’t get it out from under his feet though and Alex blocked on the line. Not long after, Michael Carrick found Rooney with a good ball and at one point he was one on one with Cech. He was looking for the perfect opening though but delayed, meaning too many players got back. When he got his shot away it was deflected and for a second looped like it was going to loop up over Cech and in to the net, but it went just over for a corner instead. Another chance went begging when Valencia delivered a good ball to Chicharito, but it had too much on it and came at the Mexican too quickly, and his header went over. Obviously it would have been lovely to thrash them 6-1 but I’ll take our three points however we got them.
6. It has to be said, we can’t seem to play a game against Chelsea in the league without potentially match-deciding decisions going against us. John Terry brought Valencia down in the box and didn’t win the ball, but nothing was given. Frank Lampard blocked a Valencia shot with a raised arm in the box but nothing was given. After already being on a yellow card, Ivanovic was guilty of a clear second yellow offence on Rooney. Not only did Webb not send the defender off, he didn’t even speak to him. After previously indicating to Ivanovic he wouldn’t stand for any more bad tackles, he thought it was probably better to pretend that nothing had happened. We got the points, it doesn’t matter, but had Chelsea got the equaliser, would the press still be banging on about Webb being a United fan? Probably.
7. I’m made up our lads had the balls for it. Our home form has been so good and I’m just so happy we took the game to them. Credit to Sir Alex for not trying to mirror Chelsea’s formation and counter-balance their strengths. He picked the team he wanted to play and Chelsea had to dance to our tune. If there were any doubts outside of Manchester that United will be worthy winners, that performance against our closest rivals ensured there could be no doubts come the final whistle. There could still be a twist yet. It wouldn’t be unimaginable to think that United will go to Blackburn and play like shite. But I do fancy us to get at least a point at the weekend so we can get the title wrapped up and shift our focus to Barcelona. Remember, our lads have a place in the starting line-up of a Champions League final to compete for, so if winning the title wasn’t a big enough motivation, the thought of running out at Wembley should be. Again, well done lads, you’ve done us proud.
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