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That’s Why We’re Champions!

Well, what a bloody good night that was!

The nerves were quickly settled thanks to our opening display and an early goal from Nemanja Vidic. There was the feeling of us starting the way we’d finished in the San Siro. Dominant, looking for a goal, desperate to progress. You only had to look at TNSSO’s starting line-up to see he came to Old Trafford for penalties, just like Sir Alex Ferguson said they would. Of the 21 matches we’d played at home this season, on only one occasion did we fail to score (Villarreal, September 08). Sadly for Inter, Mourinho rated his defence highly enough to think they could become the second team to achieve this. Four minutes in, TNSSO’s plan was out of the window, penalties were out and Inter needed a goal.

They came close, hitting the woodwork on two occasions, as well as a couple of other decent chances. Vidic pushed Ibrahimovic wide enough in the first half to make the angle too tight in the first half, yet the ball still rolled painfully close to the far post. But essentially, they didn’t have a lot to offer. They were trying set pieces from freekicks awarded just inside our half and even when time was running out for them, they still refused to throw their players forward. It was ridiculous.

At 2-0 up, the confidence obviously increases, whilst always aware that if they get one back now, they’ve still got plenty of time to score that all important second. I didn’t want to be five minutes from time knowing that an equalising goal would send them through on away goals. They just didn’t look desperate enough to put us in that position.

Their shooting was at times though, when just after an hour played Ibrahimovic shot wildly, almost resulting in a throw-in. A minute late, Adriano did the same, except his attempt was even worse!

What has to be mentioned is that Inter weren’t creating too much of a threat by themselves, until we gave them a helping hand. The amount of lapses in our concentration was shocking! Time and again we’d be playing the ball to one of their men in dangerous positions. Possession would be with us again but then straight away we’d do the same things, cute little flicks which ended up giving the ball away instead of just playing the sensible pass. It was so frustrating! Had I seen us do that against Fulham, I’d have been swearing a team like Inter would punish us for it. Fortunately, they didn’t.

The most important thing here though was progressing, however we had to do it. To get a 0-0 draw in the San Siro then beat the Italian champions 2-0 at our place is a good way to do it. The fact that Mourinho has been sent tumbling out of Europe at the Round of 16 is even better.

“Yes, I am happy now, because I have a desire to play against the best,” Mourinho said after the draw had been made back in December. “Manchester United is a team of champions, with a super coach like Alex Ferguson. We will have a great deal of motivation.”

In hindsight, I’m sure Mourinho would have been a lot happier had they been drawn against Sporting Lisbon! His desire for his team to play against the best was not matched with ability to beat the best. After people prattled on about Mourinho’s record against Ferguson, TNSSO sensibly reminded the press that it wasn’t his record, rather it was Chelsea’s. That was clear for all the see, when the best team in England saw off the best team in Italy, despite a comedy of errors at Old Trafford which should have seen Inter at least score a goal against us!

Regardless, we’re through to the next round and have to wait until next week to find out who we play. A good draw sees us through to the semis and we’re one step closer to retaining the trophy. But I do hate the talk of the quintuple. Of course, for as long as we’re in all competitions, our aim is to win them. However, I don’t think any United fan (at least those with sense) would have the audacity to claim that we will win all the trophies this season, that would be ridiculous. You know though, the moment we lose a match or get knocked out of a competition, everyone will be sneering and laughing. ‘Ha! You thought you were going to win five trophies and now look at you!’. No one at the club has said we will win all five, it is just something the media have hyped up, yet it is the fans who will get stick for it. Can you imagine winning the Premiership, League Cup and World Club Cup, yet still there being people who think they can have a right good laugh because we didn’t win the other two on offer. Guaranteed, that will happen if we don’t win everything.

All in all, life is good at the moment. Let’s hope life becomes great at the weekend!


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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22 Comments

  1. Colbert says:

    In other news, police are investigating after it was alleged that Mourinho punched a United fan in the face.

    Source: Eurosport website

  2. Ji-sung Park's Dog says:

    If it’s Tufty that was punched police have said Mourinho will be getting a medal.

  3. costas says:

    Good post Scott.It seems like Mourinho and Ferguson can never cross pathys when both have built great teams.The only time that happened was in November of 2006 at Old Trafford when it ended 1-1.United dealt with the first of these do or die weeks as far as the quintuple is concerned.We have 2 more.The second such week is at the start of April:on 11/4 we play at Sunderland.3 days later is the second leg of the quarter final and on the 19/4 is the FA cup semifinal.The third such week is from thr 24/5 until the 31/5 when we play Hull away,the Ch.League Final and the FA cup final.Exciting timed ahead!

  4. the Count says:

    If we can play like we did last night and still beat the not so special one god help the dippers on saturday – My bet is on SAF unleashing Tevez against the sloppy defense of FSW

  5. Swissdevil says:

    Can’t wait for Saturday.. And I’m sure the scousers wont play as good when they played Real!!! We will beat them anyway!!!

    @ Colbert: are there already any confirmations about TNSSO’s attack? I bet he punches like a p***y… ;)

  6. Mic says:

    Check this out

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7939501.stm

    Oh Mourinho! The shame of punching a fan! You’re going home! You’re going home!

  7. King Eric says:

    the count – I can’t agree mate that the dippers have got a sloppy defence. At times it is probably their best attribute. However if we unleash our forward line at them they will struggle to cope.

    Good post Scott especially the bit about the “quintuple”. Like you said not one United fan has said we will do it, just the media hyping it up as usual. Just waiting for us to fail the cunts.

    Maureen looked very close to Tevez last night, what the fuck was that all about?

  8. bossdem says:

    maureen looked very close to vida also, twice!

  9. kidmeister says:

    I thought the game was briliant and the atmosphere befopre and during the gae was fantastic.The singing of the torres song outside of the bishops blaize was funny,need to get the whole of the stadium singing that on saturday!Thought the team performed allright bar Berba,couldn’t believe Carlitos didn’t come on,He would of run there ragged defence!Just hope Fergie is keeping him fresh for the dippers!!Scholesy and Giggsy gave a European masterclass again lastnight,Some of those crossfield passes from Scholesy were unbelievable,Thought it was going to be the Ronny show with all those crosses being flung at him!Think we’ll beat the dippers easily on saturday,maybe Scholesy might actually have a shot on goal,how many times did we shout ‘shoot’ lastnight when he was in the zone?
    Keep up the good work Scott!

  10. manci_yanky says:

    kidmeister lets not go overboard ey? giggs played with a lot of energy but i wouldnt call his or scholes’ performance a “european masterclass”. although i do agree that the atmosphere was brilliant and as for the torres song, well, i cant wait to hear it again this weekend!
    3-0 thumping with a scouse red card.

  11. aman says:

    is anyone out there miffed and wondering what the hell Tevez has to do to get into the team. I always think we look better and more fluid with tevez/rooney upfront – Berba offers nothing! I was nervous before the game and the sight of Berba injuring himself in the warm up calmed nerves as I thought Tevez might start.

    Again Barca last year, Tevez was everywhere, never letting any of the opposition settle on the ball. Obviously Berba needs more time like a pre-season etc but again thats a big match that has just passed him by without him really contributing!

    Am I the only one who feels like this? He slows our game down, doesn’t pass first time, takes too many touches etc…

    The guy is class – no doubting that but work rate and overall contribution is null

  12. costas says:

    It is not too confusing Aman.Look at the long picture.SAF doesn’t want to ruin the psychology of a player he will have next season in order to play someone who most likely won’t be with us next season.That been said,i do hope Catlitos starts against Liverpool.The strikers need rotation as well.

  13. tony-starks says:

    ruin the psychoogy? is Berbatov that weak?

  14. Drew Vader says:

    Berba was no where to be found last night, just like in Milan. The game completely passed him by which is so frustrating. If he starts over Carlos on Saturday then I won’t blame carlos for a second for leaving us. He doesn’t deserve this.

    And when you say Scholes had a “masterclass”, I’m guessing you missed the perfect, leading passes he hit straight to their players in our own half on more than one occasion.

    I said it on here yesterday, but I’ll repeat myself. We were sloppy last night, but that can be forgiven, everyone has bad games. But the effort is what angered me. Bar Rooney, who did his assigned job on the left wing admirably of chasing down Maicon at every opportunity, the rest looked like they were quite pleased with themselves and wouldn’t have to work hard for the team. We got that early goal and then started the party football, with flicks and girly tricks coming out. If we do that shit on saturday, and that lot plays out of their fucking minds like they did against Real, it could be a rude awakening. Granted, we’ll still be potentially 7 points ahead of them even if they do win, but still. Who wants to hear those fuckers bragging about doing the double on us when we are crowned kings of everything. It will be unbearable. Please fuck don’t give them the satisfaction.

  15. manci_yanky says:

    drew vader – for the record berbatov could have easily had 2 goals yesterday if the likes of john o’shea and giggs looked up when barreling down at goal. berbatov isnt the type of player to get the ball, beat 3 defenders and score. hes a player that will ALWAYS be in the right place at the right time. his understanding for the game is beyond most peoples. like i said earlier there was 2 instances where berbatov dropped his marker and got into an easy goal scoring position, the only problem was he didnt get the ball passed to him.
    and dont get me wrong, carlito will always have a place in my heart but he plays the same game as rooney and personally i think its logical to play 2 different styled strickers opposed to having 2 pretty similar ones.
    just an opinion of course.

  16. costas says:

    “ruin the psychoogy? is Berbatov that weak?”

    Of course not.But every player starts losing their confidence when they are not playing.And if we are going to be realistic here we have to say that Berbatov will be here next year and Tevez probably won’t.What good will it do us if we bench Berba for the rest of the campaign and then call upon him next season as if he is crucial to us?Anyway,we qualified against Inter with Berba playing both legs so he must not have been that bad.Tevez should start on Saturday instead of Berba because we need to rotate.But from then on,the 3 strikers have to rotate all the time.

  17. Orez says:

    Some good points and some not so good. The guy who said “Giggs and Scholes masterclass” either hasn’t watched the game and just trying to guess or just not good with analyzing or blind. Giggs was somewhat bare able, but Scholes was hopeless. One of the worst performances from him I have seen in the long time. Carrick wasn’t much better. but at least he wasn’t giving ball away in that manner. Also people should lay off Berba. He didn’t have a great game, but if O’Shea passed he would have scored and ended the game.

  18. costas says:

    Guys it was a night in which apart from VDS everyone made mistakes.And that icludes Vida who is our player of the season.So it’s no use pointing fingers.SAF also has to realise something.Scholes and Giggs are talismen but it’s too risky starting both of them especially in a 4-4-2.I know we are entering crucial period but it’s not these 2 that are experienced anymore.Berba has helped guys.In January with Rooney out he was very helpful.

  19. Drew Vader says:

    Yanki– Having Carlos and Wayne worked alright last year didn’t it??

    And I wasn’t trying to bash Berba or anything, just making an observation. I didn’t think he played well at all and didn’t get involved. He had one instance off a Rooney rebound where he could have scored, but didn’t. Other than that, he was invisible. Just my opinion on that one match. It isn’t a slate on his season as a whole.

  20. asidfg says:

    berba is quality… but he is struggling now… could be lazy at times… and surely slows down the game. start tevez and ando on sat and the dippers would be crushed

  21. Didsbury_King says:

    Berbatov was rubbish yesterday

    as was Scholes. love the guy but age hasn’t been kind to him. Giggsy on the other hand……..

    everyone else was fine.

    except for rio. another nervy performance from him. i say fergie drops him for evans. teach him a lesson!

  22. Jig says:

    Very poor performance by the majority of the players – Rooney & Giggs put in the best shifts. Carrick was dreadful, CR7 wasn’t too bad – nothing too exciting but he got involved, Scholes was poor, Evra strangely shaky, Vidic & Rio so so.

    Berbatov was absolutely useless, I think the guy is class but he has to get involved. It’s no use saying he’s a great player when someone rolls the ball in front of him 2 yards out, big deal, he needs to get involved. He’s at Utd now and needs to work his ass off, no excuses at all. The game was perfect for Tevez in my opinion but he’s obviously got no future at the club.

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