1. Well that was just the kind of performance we needed following the devastating result in Basel this week. We passed the ball around well and at long last put away a good number of the chances we created. Only Swansea have a worse away record than Wolves though and after playing them, it is obvious why. They gave us lots of room on the ball and came at us, which meant we could attack them. Of course, it doesn’t matter how many attacks you have if you don’t score, as we found out on Wednesday, so I’m not trying to belittle the victory, but we shouldn’t get too carried away just yet.
2. Michael Carrick has been on the receiving end of a lot of stick over the past year or two. Some of it has been justified whilst some of the things said about him have been absolutely ridiculous. “If in doubt, blame Carrick” seems to be the motto of a few, so it is very pleasing to see the great form he has been in of late. Sir Alex Ferguson predicted this good form and Carrick has gladly obliged to prove him right. He’s playing with confidence, always looking to play the ball forwards again and putting in some great tackles. He was easily our Man of the Match today and looks good alongside Phil Jones.
3. For whatever reason, Jones believes his best position is in the centre of defence, but more and more he looks like a midfielder. His bounding runs forward would be wasted as a defender and his ability to win the ball means our defence has a wall in front to protect them. Most reds are salivating at the prospect of Jones and Tom Cleverley being our long term answer for the centre of the park. If he keeps on performing as he is, then he really is a viable solution to our midfield problem.
4. The wingers put in a good shift today, especially Nani, meaning Ashley Young’s cameo performance is something we may see more of in the future. The former Villa man has struggled to impress over the past few weeks, whilst Antonio Valencia’s form only keeps improving. Today was his best game in ages, with him fearlessly taking on players time and again and delivering dangerous balls in to the box. Nani has now scored or assisted 25% of our goals this season, which is an incredible feat. He’ll never be the most popular player at Old Trafford but he is very important to us now, which is why probably why he was given the last 15 minutes off today, to keep him safe from injury.
5. With injuries to Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez and Michael Owen, our options up front are fairly limited, although the Wayne Rooney partnership with Danny Welbeck would be my first choice now regardless. Welbeck had a frustrating afternoon, found to be offside far too often for my liking, but he contributes more to our attack than the loveable Chicharito. Only Robin van Persie has scored more goals in the league than Rooney now and we will have to hope that finding the net twice today will have helped settled his head. The finishes for both goals were top quality and great to see. But really, what I would give for him to get over his obsession with chipping the goalkeeper!
6. The defence was solid today, although it is annoying to see how easily Wolves scored early on in the second half. We didn’t make them work for that anywhere near as much as we should have. Regardless, Evra and Smalling generally fulfilled their defensive duties and supported the attack well. Rio Ferdinand controlled the defence and made some important clearances whilst Jonny Evans seemed to play with much more tempo. I’d like to think Eric Steele is talking to David de Gea about punching those crosses though. Catch!
7. I thought the most small time fans in the league were Stoke but Wolves really gave them a run for their money today. “6-1 to the champions!” they chanted. Really? “Who the fuck do you support?” responded the Stretford End. Other than the odd chant here or there about supporting their local team or telling us we’ll soon be City fans, they sat their silently. The chants of the game have to go to those mocking our Champions League exit, with the ground singing “Thursday nights, Channel 5” after every goal scored. “It’s full of tits, fanny and United, oh Channel 5 is wonderful” also did the rounds. If you don’t laugh, you’d cry…
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