1. We would have taken any three points today. To get them on the back of a good performance and well worked goal is very nice. Everton were resilient and it was becoming a worry whether we’d be able to break them down, but we kept our nerve, passed the ball around well and were patient.
2. Chicharito, I love you. What a début season. Just when you think it can’t get much better for him, he pops up with a late winner like that. After blocking Nani’s on target shot with his arse in the first half, you wondered whether it was going to be his day. But his movement was great all game, always on the shoulder of the last man and had a good couple of efforts saved by Tim Howard. After picking up a yellow card for wasting so much time, I imagine he wished he just got on with it when Chicharito put us 1-0 up with just over 5 minutes left. Great header, well done lad.
3. Anderson deserves credit for his performance after playing through some brilliant balls for our forward men. He’s been here years so it’s weird not to have a conclusive opinion on him. Injuries have delayed his progress and at times he can be very frustrating. Yesterday he did well, which is all the more worthy of praise when you consider who his midfield partner was. It was a little disconcerting to see Jack Rodwell’s performance though, in light of the likelihood of him becoming a United player. He should have bossed the centre of the park yesterday but he was anonymous. Just back from injury so maybe we’ll let him off. And of course, I won’t complain if an opponent has a bad day against us but it did come as a surprise.
4. Whilst not the biggest fan of football clichés, I’m glad we’re getting to hear “he’s like a new signing” banded about. Antonio Valencia has been great since returning from injury and totally superseded my expectations. To suffer a broken ankle, you had to wonder whether he was going to come back at all this season. You had to wonder when he did come back, whether he would be the same player. So to have him back for the last three months of the season, playing as well as he is doing, is brilliant. I love how strong he is and how that doesn’t compromise his speed. I love how he runs at players and is so often successful at beating them. One of my favourite moments of the games was when he shrugged off Leighton Baines with ease when charging in to the box. In the lead up to the goal, it was him that won the ball back for United, before crossing to Chicharito at the back post. When a looking at a title that could go down to the wire, Valencia is making a big difference for us.
5. Fergie used his substitutions well and they made a big impact. I’m not entirely sure I agree with resting players at this season in the season, particularly against a side as strong as Everton, but he pulled it off. Michael Owen’s movement gave them a head ache at the back, now having to track his runs as well as Hernandez’s. Patrice Evra was on for just half an hour but it was one of his better half hours of the season. We looked far more likely to score with him running in to the box and pulling the ball across the face of goal. Ryan Giggs provided a greater threat too and his substitution allowed for a more central role for Wayne Rooney, who maturely got on with the task in hand for the last ten minutes or so. He came very deep and helped keep possession as we waited for time to run out.
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