1. The latest of a long line of must-win games, we had to yet again overcome playing a team that had no other game plan than to stick all their players behind the ball and hope we couldn’t break them down. It doesn’t half make for a dull game of football. We got the three points though to put us eight point clear but we did make hard work of it.
2. When you’re playing against the ten men of a team that could (hopefully) go down, the question should be more how many goals you’re going to score, rather than are we going to win this. Replays show that Ashley Young took a dive to win a penalty when in an offside position. Lady Luck was shining down on us and I’d like to think we can thank Patrick Vieira for that one, whose unnecessary remarks about United and penalties lead to most newspapers writing articles and producing stats to the contrary. If he was trying to put the pressure on referees, he managed to do the opposite. Young was a diver at Villa so we shouldn’t be surprised that he dives here either and at least be grateful that he’s better at it than Carroll or Suarez who keep getting booked for diving. Wayne Rooney has clearly been practicing his penalties and freekicks and slotted it away nicely. This of course lead to QPR playing an even more defensive game but I was still disappointed we didn’t break them down more than we did.
3. Our strikers, with the exception of Wayne Rooney, are fairly frustrating at the moment. Chicharito did next to nothing at Blackburn whilst Danny Welbeck was effective outside the penalty area against QPR, he had a mare inside it. Danny has scored once in his last thirteen appearances whilst Hernandez goals to games record is a lot more impressive, with six goals in his last ten appearances, but his general contribution to the game is poor, with him losing possession far too easily on a regular basis. If only we had a fourth striker to choose from… oh. We miss you, Berba.
4. Vieira deserves another mention here after claiming United looked desperate to bring Paul Scholes out of retirement. If the past few months have shown us anything it’s that it was ridiculous Scholes retired when he did and our “desperate” move of bringing him back could be exactly what has won us the title. His passing completion was a ridiculous 95% against QPR, completing 114 of his 120 passes. Only 3% of those passes were going backwards. He also created five goalscoring opportunities which was more than any other player. And then he went and scored a belter to ensure we’d win the game. Desperate.
5. It was another solid performance from our defence, with Jonny Evans, a certain candidate for our player of the season, standing out. Even Patrice Evra had a good game, so I’m not sure what that tells you about QPR. David de Gea gets his name sung at least once a game by the Stretford End, even if he doesn’t do anything remarkable, which is always nice to hear.
6. So there we have it, eight points clear and it’s almost certain that Manchester United will be champions again. Not too shabby for the worst United team in decades eh…
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