1. We all know United do things the hard way but at no point did I think we would lose to Wigan yesterday. If not for dreadful decisions by the linesman at the weekend, Wigan would have beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but I underestimated their ability and the impact the sense of injustice from the Chelsea game would have on them. We were second best. They worked tirelessly, similarly to how Althetic Bilbao played against us, whilst we lazily slopped the ball around, showing very little creativity or desire to get a result. It was a disappointing reaction to the eight point gap we achieved on Sunday.
2. That said, the result of the game was dictated entirely by the incompetent decisions of the officials, this time in Wigan’s favour. Their only goal of the game came from a corner which should have been a goal kick. You didn’t need a replay to see that Phil Jones got nothing on the ball and his reaction to the decision to award a corner said as much. Shaun Maloney then scored a great goal after shrugging off Wayne Rooney. Not long after, Figueroa clearly blocked a Jones cross with his arm in the box and nothing was given. It was a clear penalty. After all the fuss that has surrounded top teams getting decisions, can we just agree that the officials are incompetent and can’t do the job accurately without the help of video replay?
3. It feels like history is repeating itself, with fears that United just aren’t good enough without Paul Scholes in the centre of midfield. Remember having these thoughts last season, as we worried that Scholes would hang up his boots in the summer? These fears were proved valid, particularly in light of the injuries to Tom Cleverley, Anderson and Darren Fletcher, as we struggled during the first half the season. It’s no coincidence we’ve overturned City’s big advantage at the top of the table since Scholes has come out of retirement. Ryan Giggs just shouldn’t start for United. I still think he’s got something to offer and he’s a decent enough option from the bench but he can’t hack it over 90 minutes.
4. It was a disappointing display from Rooney, who was subbed off for the second time in the last four games, although it would be unfair to put all the weight of expectation on his shoulders. Chicharito was poor yet again and whilst Danny Welbeck was more effective at winning the ball back, the best chance of the game fell to him and it was all to easy for Al Habsi.
5. United have now put more pressure on themselves than necessary, with what was a pencilled in three points at Wigan now seeing City decrease the distance between us. Essentially, we need to go to City with more than three points between us and I don’t see that being a problem. At the least we should keep it at five though by beating Villa and Everton at home. Hopefully yesterday was our blip over and done with.
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