Saturday saw United’s land home game of the season, which ended in a 4-1 victory for the reds. Before kick off, I was apprehensive over how we would play. Upon hearing that there were no changes to the team that beat Barcelona to progress to the European Cup final four days before, we could be forgiven for worrying whether our lads would be slow out of the blocks against the Hammers. Over the past few weeks, our first 45 minutes have typically been very slow moving and that was the last thing we needed in such a crucial league game, particularly against a side which has proven to be our bogie team.
West Ham manager, Alan Curbishley, brought about some controversy when he claimed it would be a travesty if United didn’t win the league. With less than half an hour played, this statement certainly seemed to ring true, with United’s attacking football leaving them 3-0 up. Two goals from Ronaldo, taking his overall goal tally for the season to 40, as well as a screamer by Tevez against his former club.
Just before half time, a moment of madness from Nani left us with just ten men on the field. The young Portuguese headbutted Lucas Neill, then feigned injury himself in a desperate bid to avoid punishment. This was going to fool nobody and Nani will now miss the last game of the season, as well as the first two next season, because of his immaturity. The extreme idiocy of Nani has allowed Neil off the hook, after it was the West Ham defender who put both his hands on Nani’s face before he was headbutted, and made as much of a meal out of it as our player did.
Still, this made little difference to our second half performance, which was just as domineering as the first. Michael Carrick, another former Hammer, put the result beyond any doubt with a deflected long range shot.
So relaxed were our fans and players, that the Stretford End had Carlos Tevez, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand all signalling the fans, after the “Givvus a wave” chant.
Following the final whistle, our players gathered in the centre circle whilst Sir Alex Ferguson gave a speech praising the players, the staff and the fans. This was followed by a lap of honour from the players, which felt rather strange considering nothing about our season has concluded yet, however two more wins will see United league and European Champions.
Click below to watch the videos from the match.
Following Ronaldo’s first goal
Following Ronaldo’s second goal
Following Tevez’s goal
Following Carrick’s goal
“Ronaldo, givvus a wave…”
Lap of honour