Carlos Tevez had a cracking game for United today, working non-stop, despite the ease at which United brushed Derby aside. He closed down every ball in his reach, running up and down the field, striking at goal and attempting to set up others. He scored two of our goals in our 4-1 win at Old Trafford today, and could have had more. He really has a fierce shot on him and tested Derby’s number, erm, 43, on a number of occasions.
After Derby pulled one back back, whilst still happy with the three points, I was looking for more than a final score of 3-1 against this season’s Premiership whipping boys. The pitch was completely waterlogged, and credit must go to them for finding the net three times in such conditions, but we wanted more. When Ronaldo went down in the area and the ref pointed to the spot we were practically guaranteed a fourth.
Now, in any other situation the crowd would be egging Ronaldo on. Before today, he was on 13 goals from 16 games so far this season, 7 goals from his last 5 games. His scoring record is incredible and of course we only want to see it get better and better. However today, Carlos Tevez was the man, who worked tirelessly in the pissing down rain, whilst Ronaldo jogged around the field. The player who we’ve seen in recent months, whose covered almost every inch of the field, going forward and surprisingly eager to track back, just didn’t look in the mood today. With decisions often not going his way, sodden kit, bitterly cold wind, Ronaldo just didn’t really look up for it today. (I must stress I am judging him by his own high standards, and compared to most players on the pitch, still looked bloody good, setting up both Giggs’ and Tevez’s first half goals, as well as winning the injury time penalty).
Today should have been Tevez’s day completely, the crowd chanting “Argentina!” eager to see our new signing get his first hatrick for the club, a hatrick he really deserved. Ronaldo wasn’t having any of it though, and picked up the ball, which was met with boos, in more of a light hearted manner than anything else. The chants of “Argentina!” returned, as Tevez appeared to be asking Ronaldo if he could take it. No chance. Ronaldo executed the spot kick perfectly, moving him up to the second highest goalscorer in the league this season.
Can Tevez begrudge Ronaldo’s decision to take the glory for himself? After all, Ronaldo did win the penalty. In hindsight, it was pretty ridiculous for us to expect anything other than Ronaldo taking the penalty. He wants to get every goal he can in a bid to win his spot amongst the all time greats; his name on the list of those who’ve claimed the FIFA World Player of the Year (which will be announced on December 17th). Still, it would have been a nice gesture to allow Tevez a go.
What do you reckon? Who should have taken the penalty?