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Reactions To Victory Over Southampton

1. Another game at Old Trafford, another game that we were hanging on, but we got the win and restored our seven point lead. After Spurs scored that late equaliser in our last league game you wouldn’t have imagined we would have been straight back in to this position, so there are no complaints from me. Southampton have picked up draws against Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal in the past few weeks and gave us a real game yesterday, so I’ll happily take the three points after watching them dominate the play in the second half, particularly in the last ten minutes. “In my experience of the title race, there is always a game when you were lucky and I think this is the one,” Ferguson said after the game. I think he’s being a tad generous claiming that last night was our only lucky result this season, but I couldn’t care less. We can be lucky every week if it means winning the league.

2. After Arsenal were branded a one man team last season after Robin van Persie dragged them through to achieving one of those precious Champions League spots, there has been some talk of United deserving the same title this season. Even if you ignore the fact that Van Persie scored a higher proportion of Arsenal’s goals than he has ours, it’s disrespectful to our other strikers, let alone the rest of the team, to call us a one man team. Javier Hernandez’s goals have won us five games this season, and Rooney has scored 7 goals in his last 8 games for us now. This season he scored two in our 4-2 win over Stoke, two goals in our 4-3 win over Reading and two goals in our 3-2 win against City, amongst others, and now both goals in our 2-1 win over Southampton. For a player who has struggled for goalscoring form and has been hampered by poor fitness at the start of the season and an injury in the past month, that’s not too shabby. He now features in the top ten scorers this season and has started finding the back of the net at just the right time. More of the same please.

3. Shinji Kagawa can take a lot of the credit for Rooney’s first goal, playing a lovely weighted ball over the Southampton defence to make it easy for Rooney to score. Moments later he could have scored a goal for himself after a great cross in by Phil Jones, but was denied by the woodwork. Jones played his part in the second goal too, winning a freekick for Van Persie to deliver to the back post. Evra grabbed his sixth assist of the season, setting Rooney up for a tap in. After a lovely ball forward from Van Persie, Rooney should have grabbed his hattrick, but a heavy touch made it easy for Boruc.

4. As has become a familiar sight at Old Trafford, we conceded early on, after mistakes from our midfielders. Anderson was the first at fault, giving the ball unnecessarily in his own half. The ball then fell to Michael Carrick, who was under pressure, but his dealing with the situation was so nonchalant. He casually tapped it back in the direction of David de Gea but ended up providing a great assist for Rodriguez. Everyone seems to enjoy giving De Gea stick but he was beaten by a lovely touch by the Southampton player, with our goalie only able to use his feet thanks to the pass back from Carrick. “I just didn’t get enough on it,” Carrick said after the game. “Totally my fault, I take the blame for it and hold my hands up.” Carrick went on to do better as the game went on but losing the ball and inaccurate passing was the theme for Anderson’s game. It was no surprise to see him come off with over 20 minutes to go, although Cleverley will feel a bit miffed to miss out again.

5. Still, Phil Jones had done well in midfield against Spurs so it was fair enough that he was given another go in preference to bringing on Tom. He spoke earlier this week about preferring to play as a central defender and you do worry what impact shifting him about will have. John O’Shea was once an incredibly promising player but never really fulfilled that potential after never owning just one position. Jones is too good to become a utility player but for now, he will have to be content with getting a game wherever the manager chooses. With the likes of Rafael, Rio and Cleverley all on the bench today, Jones should be happy with getting 90 minutes.

6. Van Persie had a quiet game by his standards although saw a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, which would have seen him become the first United player since Ronaldo to score in six league games in a row. This came moments after Boruc made a brilliant save to keep his header out, so he will feel disappointed not to have a goal to his name.

7. So, we’re seven points clear with fourteen games to go. Had 2011-2012 never happened, I’d say our name was on the trophy now. United didn’t blow leads like this at this stage of the season. You’d like to say the fact we cocked up so badly last season would mean it certainly wouldn’t happen again this year, but I’m going to remain cautious for now. We’re in a fantastic position though and even though you rarely get to be relaxed during a United game or thoroughly enjoy it, I’d take performances like last night every week if it means winning our trophy back.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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139 Comments

  1. Den says:

    OFF your boring ddg TOPIC: Beckham is donating all of his 150k a week from PSG to charity for children. He’s a real legend on and off the pitch!

  2. kanchelskis says:

    @Canada

    Naaah mate. Put your fackin foot through it, innit! Get sent, who gives a fack?! Take one for tha fackin teaam!!!

  3. parryheid says:

    kanchelskis.

    Your little short of an idiot clutching at straws

  4. rijah says:

    well said canada…

    De gea did try his best in my opinion and he cannot risk getting send off which would make things worse…

  5. fergie is the boss says:

    denton davey – that is why carrick and cleverly are miles ahead of the rest, they are great at ball control, and cleverly is a much clever player than anderson, he nicks the ball, and unlike anderson, cleverly is such a technical little player, he is brilliant at finding the right man, as anderson like always is guilty of giving the ball away. It is also a big help, they sit deep, we do not need someone from CM to keep going forward, leaving us exposed, when we already have the fullbacks and the front 4 going forward. We do not need one of our midfielders to keep going forward leaving carrick and the backline exposed

  6. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Absolutely bang on Canada. De Gea was smart. You are at home, it’s the third minute. Why would he risk getting sent off and cutting our chances of victory in half when he knows fully well that whether or not Southampton score, with 11 men on the pitch for United at home it’s difficult to see us losing. Criticism of De Gea is really unnecessary. Southampton claimed they targeted De Gea yesterday. LMAO well they didn’t do a very good job at it then.

  7. fergie is the boss says:

    BCC – there is no way in hell could DDG save that, it was such a layed back pass, and well over confident from carrick, DDG would have been sent off. The pass was too short, and lacking the concentration, sometimes in games like this, GK’s will have to do that. The pass was not only layed back, but it made such a horrible bounce, DDG would have defiantly been sent off, he tried to use his body put of the player in hope he is put off

  8. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    All of this talk about better to let one in and stay on the pitch justs sounds like people are making up excuses to justify the error. Any keeper worth his salt would have cleared that ball.
    Fair play to Carrick for putting his hands up…but while he fucked up DDG had the chance to solve the problem and didn’t.

  9. fergie is the boss says:

    I have played in goal in a bit of a kick around, and I have been given those horrible back-passes with the bounce that is just right for the attacking player, and that is what the Soton goal was, the bounce was a GK’s nightmare, DDG could not grab the ball, because of how slow it was, he could run out or he fouls the player, so what is your only option? try and put the player off by jumping at him in hope he gets the ball, that will not exactly foul the attacking player, DDG tried to call the players bluff, and it never worked.

    I wish everyone would get off his back, DDG needs trimming, he does have his rough edges, but he does come up with that bit of brilliance is well. And when you see this brilliance, he is worth the waiting in goal.

  10. parryheid says:

    I’ll say again for the final time Had DeGea really went for the ball instead of wimping out what makes you think he wouldnt have gotten the ball cleanly and if not that the ref would definately called a foul/penalty/sending off?Baffling that.

  11. AntiScouser says:

    David Beckham: “‘I always said I would never want to play for another English club. I have history with Manchester United. I have always supported them, I always dreamed of playing for them. I am very honoured by the offers I had in England, but I wouldn’t have played there if it wasn’t for United.”

  12. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    Can’t say I agree fitb. He simply wasn’t committed to the challenge.

  13. fergie is the boss says:

    If you think DDG could solve the problem with that goal, you really are deluded. The pass was short, slow, the bounce was horrible, any keeper would have caught that, really? tell me how joe hart is doing? reina’s dodgy periods, the clangers valdes and casillas make, cech, tell me how many mistakes he has made? DDG fucked up HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHA, no mate, carrick fucked up the pass, he made such a casual pass to the keeper, especially when he did not expect him to pass it back to him so poorly, when carrick should have been allot stronger passing it back to the keeper. The only one to blame for that goal, was Michael Carrick, and that’s a fact. And the stats that DDG is ranked the 4th best keeper in the world, not even cech, valdes hart make the top 10

  14. fergie is the boss says:

    You cannot be committed to the pass, when the pass itself was too short to claim. Impossible to get the ball cleanly

  15. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    What was wrong with the bounce? I’ve watched the goal 20 times from all different angles and I don’t see the ball bouncing funny.

    People seem convinced that if he had gone for the challenge it owuld have been a penalty and red card. it could also be a a free for DDG if he gets there first and is caught by Rodrigues.

    It’s not about hart, reina, valdes or casillas. It’s about ddg for last nights goal. You expect your goalkeeper to clear that ball. I can’t say anymore on the matter other than I hope to see him bewteen the sticks at Fulham and I have every confidence that he will do well.

  16. Sparkz says:

    parryheid says:
    I’ll say again for the final time Had DeGea really went for the ball instead of wimping out what makes you think he wouldnt have gotten the ball cleanly and if not that the ref would definately called a foul/penalty/sending off?

    Have to agree with this tbh. I do think he should have gone for it, and I do think he could have made contact with the ball. Even if it was the slightest contact, that would have prevented him from being punished, and probably would have stopped the goal.

  17. brett1985 says:

    Wayne:

    I agree that Real will bring a different level of intensity. I just hoped we are well practiced in ‘turning it on’ prior to that game. A track record of not conceding sloppy goals would be preferable. Though I do realise we had a goal ruled out, the professional thing would have been to score a third at the earliest opportunity and then contain the opposition in order to save energy.

  18. samuel - united WE stand says:

    I’m sorry but what does “he wasn’t committed” have to do with anything? Full intent from de gea would have resulted in a goal. He’s not a tackler, so unlikely to time it properly and the striker is pretty fast, rodriguez was always going to beat him to it. It’s not making excuses for him, it’s dealing with reality. It was a fuck up from carrick and even the man puts his hands up, yet others would put a different spin on it. Kanchelskis is right, of course parry’s disapproval for de gea has never influenced his analysis.

  19. samuel - united WE stand says:

    “Being a wimp”, What is this? The playground for hooligans?. What does have to do with anything?

  20. samuel - united WE stand says:

    http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2892/transfer-zone/2013/01/31/3716180/mock-the-window-beckham-takes-french-lesson-from-joey-barton?ICID=AR_TS_1

    David beckham and joey barton apparent phone discussion transcript, brilliant!

  21. Lee Martins Winner says:

    I cant stand this DDG hating, United have always been a team of DEVELOPING young TALENT. I remember Ronny, Beckham, Scholes, RedNev etc all making mistakes. I remember Ronnie being abused for his end product in the first few years. What made me keep the faith in him was the moments of class, that one turn, trick, shot etc. DDG plays in a position where his mistakes cost us goals, but no one can tell me that he has not made world class saves as well……..

    I am a United Fan, I dont abuse our young players, if in 5 years DDG is no better than Foster, then I will admit I was wrong, but for now, I say enjoy his development and get behind the lad.

    Side note: I fucking love our Ninja, If he can stay injury free and get a run of games, he could be a real force against Madrid. I hear all the talk of Benzema this, Ozil that, but they will also be thinking RVP this, Chicho and Rooney that!

    Stay positive boys, we aint fucking Chelsea.

  22. King Eric says:

    Lee Martin’s Winner – Top post pal. The way some fucking clowns were carrying on last night you would think we had lost the game.

    I always remember Nev saying a year or so ago, and this sounds bad, but at this stage of the season the players are “bored” . Its when the really big games come they are focused and up for it more. We will be fine against Madrid.

  23. Lee Martins Winner says:

    Thanks KIng – I think its mostly the United fans who remember a little of the pre SAF era and those early years that appriciate where we are now more. Not all, but in the main. We have no right to just roll teams. The EPL is more competitive than ever this season and repect should be given to Southampton who are in my opinion a cracking little side.

    La Liga is a very different animal and while I am not disputing the class of players like Messi and Ronni, there is no way in hell Messi would score over 70 goals in England. The standard of the overall league and some championchip sides is twice that of the Spanish weaker teams. English teams in the main just dont bend over like they sometimes can in Spain. I point to the recent FA cup round as an example.

    This season has been strange, but those fans thinking the united we saw last night, will be tho one that turns up v real must have forgotten our performances against the big prem sides. In the main, we have played our best against our big rivals…..

    We are still in the top 3 competitions this season, 7 points clear at the top, a strike force most teams would die for and a defence which is improving,

  24. WeAreUnited says:

    David Beckham the legend

    A shame we never gave him a chance to come back, I don’t care what his age is, it doesn’t mind

    http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/85/england/2013/01/31/3716594/beckham-i-would-never-play-for-another-premier-league-club-other-?source=breakingnews&ICID=HP_BN_5

    a legend, the man behind my lvoe towards Manchester United! without his crosses in the world cup 98 I would have never discovered him and ManUtd.

    !

  25. wayne says:

    Don’t see any DDG hating some of us just don’t think he’s ready to be num 1,lol must be fucking joking Goalie is not the position you develop players.Goalie has to learn in a hurry
    Hey it sucks but goalie mistakes are the most critical and magnified 10 fold.
    All Utd goalies have been good shot stoppers but have to be fully rounded which DDG isn’t at the moment anyone thinks any different is just deluded
    That’s not hating just realizing he’s not close to the standard required

  26. united forever says:

    its sickening wayne the way you come on here attacking the players .support the team you fucking plastic troll

  27. kanchelskis says:

    Put yor FACKIN foot frew it you CANT!!!

    Cretins

  28. bamfoj01 says:

    We can be 10 points clear of Citeh if we beat Fulham on Saturday!! If peanut head aint play for the berties I can see bin dippers doing em.

  29. wayne says:

    Not attacking anyone call me what you fucking want lol.When VDS retired he was still twice the goalie DDG is today,put DDG alongside VDS that’s what a Utd goalie is.Don’t want. To hear DDG is still learning he’s Utd’s num 1.The lad may turn out to be the best ever I’m tallking this moment in time
    Nothing to do with putting his foot through it,it was a 50/50 ball

  30. NBI Red Onion says:

    VDS or Schemichel would have gone for the ball, no question of that, they would have gone for it and backed themselves to get it or a touch on it. No way would either of them have skipped about like that. It is ridiculous to suggest they would have. Some chance of stopping a goal -v- zero chance of stopping a goal – no brainer. Like any CF worth their salt is going to be put off by a goalie flapping at them and sticking a leg out like karate kid. Get real. If he had come of his line with a bit of pace and determination he could have nicked it, but he got nervous and did that weird skip an did not even look like he was really trying, he looked scared. Also anyone who thinks goalies are trained to think, well you know I might foul him so I will just let this one in and hope that we have time to score, is a damn fool.

    DDG – Jury out – everyone wants him to succeed – but I do agree with @ wayne on this he is in a key position and GK for a top team is one position where you don’t have the luxury of mistakes and learning on the job as an outfield player does, that is why SAF will make a decision on whether he has done enough and whether we buy an experienced GK or push Lindy up. Ofcourse experienced goalies make a mistake but they make less over a season and have more savvy and organisational skills, if you could start with VDS in goal or De Gea who would you choose.

    People really underestimate the impact a goalie can have, it affects the whole team, it was no coincidence that we were at our defensive best and winning titles when VDS was in goal. People say Vidic is a miss when he does not play but I would say we are still missing VDS, there is total failure to often appreciate what keepers like him bring to the table on many levels.

    I hope De Gea becomes a VDS rather than a Foster but no one knows yet. There is also the mental element that Foster has admitted he could not handle the pressure of playing for a Club like United. The pressure on DDG must be huge. Playing in goal at one of the biggest Clubs in the world in a foreign country with no family or familiar things around you plus trying to learn quick enough to save your position, huge pressure. I do feel for him. But SAF will be ruthless if he does not make the grade and rightly so.

  31. NBI Red Onion says:

    Also remember SAF said in buying DDG he was influenced by how Chelsea had bought Cech at such a young age and how he turned out. Cech was phenomenal until he got his head injury after which he has not quite reached the same level.

    Personally I think United historically have done well when we bought experienced proven keepers who commanded respect and had the personality and character needed to succeed here.

  32. denton davey says:

    unitedforever @ 22:47: “its sickening wayne the way you come on here attacking the players .support the team you fucking plastic troll”

    Don’t be silly – Wayne is expressing his view. We should all be happy to hear it. Scott’s blog is best when we can agree to disagree but not descend to name-calling. Wayne’s a passionate Red NOT some “fucking plastic troll”.

    I may not agree with Wayne about some things – Ashley Young ??? – and sometimes he seems to get really, really pissed with my opinions – but I would never attack his support for the guys in the red shirts; in fact, I’d say the opposite, he’s often too likely to see “no evil” but that’s a very different matter.

  33. wayne says:

    Denton cheers mate,the silly little cunt wasn’t reading what I was saying just wanted to take a shot for whatever reason,its duly noted but thanks again pleasant surprise that you’d stick up for me

  34. denton davey says:

    Wayne @ 04:51: “pleasant surprise that you’d stick up for me”

    Why ? I don’t take our disagreements personally – it’s not like you could pick me out of a line-up composed of two geezers.

  35. wayne says:

    Lol I’d have a 50/50 chance,we’ve both being coming on here for years and very rarely agree figured you’d enjoy someone taking a shot.I misread you mate I apologize

  36. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    I don’t see any DDG hating. It’s a simple opionion over how people think he should have dealt with that ball. I’m crtical of him in that instance but I think he’s a fine goalie and have every faith that he will continue to progress. It’s not like VDS or Schmeichel never dropped clangers or flapped at the odd cross or were made to look stupid now and again. It’s what happens when you’re a goalie but at the end of the season they save us more points than the cost us and I’d say the balance with DDG is just about in his favour.

  37. Wakey says:

    I don’t think either Schmeichel or VDS would have got to the ball first either. They ball isn’t a 50/50 ball and is slightly closer to the striker than the keeper. DDG would have had to be Usain Bolt to get to the ball first.

    Now I suspect Schmeichel would have prevented the goal without getting sent off or even having to fully commit as the sheer size of him was imposing and him charging out would have been a distraction and perhaps enough to present a second opertunity but Edwin wasn’t anywhere near as imposing in such situations so I’m not convinced he would have been able to prevent it.

    And those saying what DDG did had no chance of working arent correct. Anyone who has played or watches tennis will know that it can be your movement that takes the opponents eye that can be the difference between them hitting an easy winner and them missing the shot. Sure it was last resort stuff but without the bulk of Schmeichel to distract with his physical pressence it was all he had left as an option

  38. DohaRed says:

    Lads, I live in Qatar, and my hours are a bit different than yours. So I love coming on here in the mornings and reading all your comments. Rarely come on and post myself, but love to come on here and get real insight into the game, the players and Man. United generally. Thanks from myself and hopefully lots of others like me around the world for all time and effort you put in on this blog, which is far and away the best place to join up with other United fans.

    Just a general observation after reading all the posts above, but everyone deserves to make their comments. Some are critical, some are blinkered in their support, but its a free world, and freedom of speech is everything.

    This year I’ve watched United and loved every single game – yes we have made some mistakes, but how fucking exciting has it been to watch United come back time and time again. Some games we have been magical, others we played poor at times, but that is what life is all about – no-one is perfect all the time. We are 7 points clear again, and winning nearly every game. Personally I am loving it and can’t wait to watch every United game. If we go 1 or 2 goals down now I think Fuck it, who cares , we’ll just score 2 or 3.

    I would like to make a personal plea for some not to criticise our younger players, and give them a few years to settle in and grow. Players like David de Gea, Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck (fucking love him, and his whole attitude to the club) and Anderson. When you are not getting long runs in the team, maybe you have injuries, and your are right at the start of your career, you need support and nurturing. Everyone needs time to learn their trade and learn from experience. I remember when I was 22 I knew fuck-all about my job, took me 5 or 6 years to know my arse from my elbow, and of course we all get better as we age and experience more situations. So please all those that have a go at our young players have a bit of understanding.

  39. DreadedRed says:

    DohaRed – Top comment sir!

    To those who criticise, appreciate DohaRed’s fair criticism. Please, hear his plea!

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