Sunday, February 27, 2011

Van der Sar ensures United stay on track at Wigan....

United were in action on Saturday at Wigan, it was one of those rare occasions when the game kicked-off at 3pm. In last season's corresponding fixture United ran out 5-0 winners - the scoreline that day did not truly reflect what had gone before it - the Reds scored three times in the last eight minutes which made it look like a real hammering, which it was based on the scoreline. Ironically, it was a similar story against Wigan yesterday, but this time it finished up 4-0 with the visitors scoring three goals in the last 16 minutes.

However, it could have been a very different story if Wigan had taken their chances - the fact that they didn't was down to the excellent Edwin van der Sar whose goalkeeping hasn't always been brilliant this season, but against Wigan he made three crucial saves.

Whenever United take on Wigan, more often that not, it is usually a very open game with lots of goalmouth action and from pretty much the first kick that is exactly how the game was played on Saturday.

Nani had one of those days when he was brilliant at times, he hit the woodwork twice - how the second thundering effort didn't go in was hard to figure out because his shot rebounded off the inside of the post and bounced to safety.

Vidic and Scholes were careless at times during the opening exchanges and this led directly to Wigan bearing down on Edwin van der Sar who had to be at his very best to ensure Athletic didn't not open the scoring.

United eventually broke the deadlock on 17 minutes and it was Hernandez who was preferred to Berbatov who did the damage following good work by Nani on the left. The way Hernandez peeled off his marker and found space inside the Wigan penalty area was reminiscent of Michael Owen at his very best - it was another quality goal.

It was by no means an uneven contest with both teams taking turns to attack, but at times Wigan had the league leaders penned back for sustained spells and United had to thank their Dutch goalkeeper for denying the Wigan strikers on too many occasions.

United's midfield was once again quite poor; the combination of Scholes, Fletcher and Carrick were guilty of allowing Wigan too much time and space outside the United penalty area - though it's true to state the home team were playing extremely well.

We had to wait until the 74th minute for the vital second goal but it was worth the wait, because it was another qaulity finish from United's young Mexican striker; on this occasion he played a clever 'one-two' just outside the box with Rooney before slotting beyond the helpless Al Habsi in the Wigan goal.

Prior to that Van der Sar had been busy at the other end, as Wigan fought hard to make the breakthrough.

On 75 minutes, Ferguson replaced Hernandez and Scholes with Berbatov and Gibson respectively and in the 83rd minute the decision paid off when United's Bulgarian striker found Wayne Rooney who had the simple task of tapping-in from close range the goal effectively cemented the points.

Fabio da Silva replaced Nani late on, and he scored with his first touch after good work by Darren Fletcher.

The after match talking point centred on Wayne Rooney who was caught on camera cuffing McCarthy - no boubting this will lead to a media witch-hunt with the aim of getting the United striker suspended.

Men of the match: Van der Sar and Hernandez
United entertainment value: 7/10


  1. "Edwin van der Sar whose goalkeeping hasn't always been brilliant this season"

    Apart from one mistake against West Brom at home, did he put a foot wrong????????

    Please do not write stuff just to fill the pages in...please

  2. I'm not just referring to one mistake. EVDS hasn't been consistently brilliant this season: luckily for him Vidic has ensured he's not needed to be, but when he was called upon on Saturday he did his job.


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