Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Berbatov shines, but it's Scholes who dazzles sorry Newcastle...

IF Andy Carroll had taken Newcastle's early goal scoring opportunity it could have been a very different story, but having done the hard bit by losing his marker Nemanja Vidic, the giant Geordie headed wide of Edwin van der Sar's goal. From that point onwards there was only ever going to be one winner and it wasn't last night's visitors to Old Trafford.

Newcastle had started with just one striker up front; in contrast, United had two up front, so in theory, the visitors should have had an extra man in midfield, but it certainly didn't look that way as the Red Devils went on to pretty much control the engine room.

Last season's Championship winners had no answer to Paul Scholes who was in majestic form: If you give good players time and space more often than not they will punish you. Against Newcastle, Scholes, was at his impish best; United's veteran midfield general was always available for the short pass and more often than not he found his man. Despite having two combative hatchet-men in midfield in Alan Smith and Joey Barton, Newcastle had no answer to Scholes.

The main beneficiary of United's domination was Dimitar Berbatov, his strike partner Wayne Rooney showed one or two nice touches, but clearly he's not quite 100% match fit and that's why Ferguson eventually replaced him with Chicharito who was given a standing ovation by the Old Trafford faithful when he entered the action with thirty minutes remaining on the clock.

But it was Berbatov who stole the show up front; like Scholes the Bulgarian was pulling the strings, but from a more advanced position. Berbatov had opened the scoring in the first half-half with a well taken low-drilled effort that gave Harper no chance; it seems churlish to point out that United's number nine was aided by the faintest of touches by Enrique in the build-up, but taking nothing away from the former Spurs striker who went on to have a very good game.

Darren Fletcher made it two-nil four minutes before the break with a snap-shot and quick turn inside the Newcastle penalty area following an incisive run by Patrice Evra. The game was effectively over as a contest from that point on.

With twenty minutes to go, Ryan Giggs came on when he replaced Nani and he scored the goal of the game following yet another superb pass from Paul Scholes, the Welshman wasted no time as he struck the ball first time, arrow like, into the corner and once again Harper had no chance.

New signing Chicharito looked very lively and made some very good runs, but Valencia and Nani weren't on the same wavelength. United's Mexican striker could turn out to be one of the buys of the season if he settles quickly, there's no doubting he looks the part.

As for Newcastle, they need to improve, but there's worse teams in the division and so they will probably be okay once they get going.


  1. I agree with you about Scholes. The only other place I've seen such midfield dominance and brilliance is with Xavi Hernandez. Rooney is definitely not where he should be, but he had his moments of brilliance (the little flick to Berbatov that he should've put away). All in all, an excellent showing!

  2. Scholes was great the problem is that he cant do it week in week out anymore. I just hope he can put in a performance like that against a difficult side and not just relegation candidates like Newcastle.

    Berbatov again showed promise. I really hope the guy can keep it up.

    Shame about Ozil - and apparently for £11m too! Think we dropped the ball on this and should have tied him up sooner!

  3. Dave,

    You have hit the nail on the head: the better sides won't afford Scholes the time and space he was given by Newcastle.

    Regarding Ozil, we were never in with a prayer of signing him. If you had the choice of joining Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan or United where would you go if you were in his shoes and you were a German? It wouldn't be Manchester. United have NEVER been able to attract Europe's finest when there has been serious competition for the said players signature.


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