TheChelseaBlog.org was at United’s victory over Peterborough last night and gave an insight from the stands.
The usual disorganised farce followed by a fifteen minute delay signalled the start of a big game for Peterborough United. Despite plenty of advanced warning to prepare, the local constabulary aka half a dozen or so officers (while the rest of them no doubt sit on the A1 with speed cameras) couldn’t cope with this sudden influx of people descending on London Road – I mean let’s face it, you couldn’t have predicted it for a game against Manchester United, could you?
Anyway, here it was. Father against son, master against novice, Ferguson senior against Ferguson junior, giants against minnows, bill it however you like, it was Peterborough United v Manchester United. And as someone who has had the dishonour of watching the Posh a limited number of times over the years, obviously I expected to see the same sort of woeful performance it had been my misfortune to be subjected to on each of those occasions. But to be fair I was pleasantly surprised.
The young Ferguson, who’s obviously learnt a few things from his dad over the years, showed he’s taken pretty well to this management lark, his Peterborough side looking pretty lively in a first half where they were anything but over-awed by their Premier League opponents. They weren’t afraid to give United a game, with Mclean and Rendell making Kuszczak the busier of the two keepers in the first 45 and young Fergie’s men showed they’re just as quick to get back and defend. All in all, they gave a good account of themselves in the first half and deserved to go in level at the break – although someone maybe should’ve told Russell Martin that before he put the ball past Joe Lewis. Only moments before that, Aaron Mclean, with a shot that was probably harder to miss than score to be honest, opted for the high, wide, but not particularly handsome – putting the ball wide of the gaping goal.
From United, the first half saw Tevez as threatening as ever, but the stand-out player for me had to be Rafael Da Silva. Having previously paid little attention to any talk about the Brazilian twins and seeing them as little more than a gimmick, my opinion certainly did an about-turn long before the ref signalled for half-time. The first half of the twins to be unveiled on the night really impressed with his pace and physical presence, showing he not only likes to get forward, but isn’t exactly averse to something a little bit tougher either.
After the break, substitutions saw a bright enough start from Posh and the introduction of Boyd kept both the game and the home crowd alert as he showed why he’s so popular at London Road, refusing to give any ball up for dead. By now United had no recognised striker on the pitch and it took a great reflex save from Kuszczak to stop a Posh equaliser. Nevertheless, an even more rejuvenated Manchester United side begin to dominate with their young talent. Just after the hour mark, it was Tyler needing to be alert when Rodrigo Possebon attempted to detach the keepers fingers with a belter from outside the box. And it wasn’t very much later, after no more than a minute on the pitch and with only his second touch of the ball, that Darron Gibson, left-footed, on the half volley, hit a screamer into the top corner, giving Tyler no chance at all.
So, 2-0 on the night, a respectable scoreline, a more than respectable account from Ferguson junior’s men and a pretty decent test for Ferguson senior, who’s legacy will clearly not come to an end when he hangs up his hairdryer.
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