Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rooney comes back to earth with a bang after "Lord Mayor's Show"...

United went to Milan last week in the Champions League for the first leg of their round of 16 tie, the champions were fortunate to avoid a first-half spanking, to their credit they came back strongly and won for the first time against the Italian giants.

On Saturday United were not so lucky against an in-form Everton side who have recently beaten league leaders Chelsea at Goodison Park. United went on to deservedly lose 3-1, and that was after they'd taken an early lead through Dimitar Berbatov.

Everton hit back strongly with a first-half eqauliser on 19 minutes from Bilyaletdinov. From that point onwards the Toffees were by far the better side. David Moyes showed he's not the only manager with the midas touch when he sent on Gosling and Rodwell, who both scored in the second-half to give Everton a handsome but rare victory over Ferguson.

After the game the United manager didn't use tiredness as an excuse, but he hinted it might have been a factor following the trip to Milan, but let us not forget the champions had the benefit of no Premier League fixture the previous weekend.

Ferguson didn't actually make any excuses when admitting United were very much second best against Everton. It was a very sloppy performance and too many players looked jaded and off colour. While Everton scored good goals the United manager will be concerned about the defending.

Evans and Evra should have done better for the first goal, but a slip by the Frenchman allowed Bilyaletdinov to run free and strike low and hard beyond the unsighted Van der Sar.

Valencia was caught ball watching on Everton's second goal when he should have been picking up his runner, and that allowed a free run and cross into the United penalty area and a goal for Gosling.

At the other, United' hero in Milan, Wayne Rooney had a very poor game; he lost control of the ball more or less every time it went anywhere near him. In the first half, Berbatov put Rooney through on goal with a brilliant flick but an unlucky touch with his left boot pushed the ball wide and the chance to score was gone in an instant - it could have been a very different result but for that unfortunate touch.

Rooney was very unlucky not to score from a second-half free-kick, only the faintest of touches from the head of Distin denied the United striker. Apart from that it really was a day to forget for Rooney.

As the game went on the pattern never really looked like changing and it cried out for substitutions; sadly from a United perspective the introduction of Scholes, Owen and Obertan had no effect. Valencia, Berbatov and Park made way, but if Rooney had been taken off he would have had no cause to complain.

While Fergie's changes made little or no impact it was David Moyes who stole the headlines along with Gosling and Rodwell, the latter scored a superb late goal to hammer the final nail into United's coffin; but again Ferguson will not be happy given the Everton youngster ran fully 20 yards with the ball and was unchallenged before firing home from inside the box.

It has been a very strange week, United have defended badly in their last two games, but they came away from Milan with a great result, sadly, that wasn't the case at Goodison Park yesterday where once again they defended poorly.

As for the strikers, it wasn't that long ago that Fergie was adamant that United needed four top quality strikers; in sharp contrast, many pundits would agree we now have just the one and you do wonder if Rooney is starting to feel the strain. United are undoubtedly relying on the 'white Pete' too much and everyone knows it.

The champions are back in action against West Ham on Tuesday when the Hammers visit Old Trafford, there's no time for resting and it remains to be seen if the manager will freshen up his attack in a bid to quickly get back to winning ways.


  1. I thought that Evra didn't play that well, or maybe his mistakes stuck out. On the second goal he totally let his man go unmarked after standing right next to him a few seconds before that.

    And I hope one of the other prongs of MUST's efforts (besides the ouster of the Glazer's) is a reference book, perhaps a Dummy's guide, to Michael Carrick on how to pass in the direction of the opposite goal instead of sideways. You know you don't create that many dangerous opportunities when Paul "I am so old that I played for Manchester United during the Falkland War" Scholes is causing opposing defenses sleepless nights over you.

    Carrick is ok and would play great for a club like Tottenham.


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