Sunday, August 29, 2010
United 3 - 0 West Ham
Disappointingly, United looked sluggish in the first 10 or so minutes - the United from London really impressing with their fluid passing.
But in all honesty, Giggs and Scholes combined get the show on the road for United. After the half hour, Scholes with a trademark cross-field pass (will I ever get sick of saying that?) impeccably finds Giggs on the left wing. He bamboozles Johnathon Spector before forcing the foul and ref Mark Clattenburg has no choice but to point to the spot.
And that man, that man who we'd all been praying for to get a goal finally gets it. Wayne Rooney gets the better of his hapless England team-mate Rob Green and slots it to the keeper's left.
And United (of Manchester) upped the pressure, Carlton Cole often left, as West Ham's only man up front, to chase clearances hopefully and never giving up on "lost causes". Scholes and Giggs really just upholding this tradition of the Golden Generation and their dominance. At the end of the first half, they even tackled Mark Noble TOGETHER, before Giggs unleashes the most delicate of chipped through-balls for Nani, who, one on one with Green, scoops it over. Disappointing, really. He's not played half bad, Nani. Wrapped a fierce shot against Green which hit the bar when it was still 0-0.
Nani got another just after the break, from a good run - he deserves it, our wannabe Ronaldo. He played well for spells today, not too disappointed anymore!
And Berbatov, he nets a pearler - half-bicycle volley, takes off his shirt (I know I would if I scored a goal like it...) and gets booked. That's the kind of goal it was. Except... Berbatov style, so you're not really surprised or wowed... you're just seeing what you expect.
Well played overall, I'd say we're hitting 3rd gear. Long way to go, though.
First, I'll start with who I've been impressed with. It goes without saying that Scholes and Giggs deserve a mention here... they've been impressing me since I first watched United play as a wee lad in 1996 (or was it 1997?). No, I'm really impressed by Dimitar Berbatov. That Bulgarian sex-trader has really warmed up to life at Old Trafford after a difficult couple of seasons for us—I'm one of those who hope that the term "languid" gets removed from the Lexicon of adjectives to describe Berba, maybe to be replaced by "elegant", or "effortless". Much better! He seemed to be giving that extra 10% for the team, chasing down just that little bit more, straining the sinews in his neck just a little bit harder to get his head onto a ball so he can lay it off for a teammate. Top stuff, Dimi!
But, with a victory, what often goes under the radar is the general sloppiness of the play before we got on top. Sure, in the end, it doesn't really matter since the 3 points are in the bag and we scored 3 goals which helps our GD, but still... at times we just went one pass too many, for my liking. Fletcher being a bit sloppy, working hard to recover - to his credit - but still sloppy. Likewise can be said for O'Shea and Evans. And when Carrick came on for Scholes, didn't look too comfortable on the ball - but it is his first appearance back from injury, so it's not too big a deal. Still, I'm one who'd hope to see more fluidity and accuracy in our play in the future. But...
Best Player: Dimitar Berbatov. Sumptuous. Much will be said of Giggs' and Scholes' performances against the Hammers—and fair enough, they played out of their 36-7 year old skins today! But as I've said, that's expected. Scholes is in such a rich vein of form at the start of this season, it's hard to keep him under wraps... and Giggs, re-visiting his wide-left role was equally impressive, but it was Berbatov who'd make the runs, look for his strike partner, make the effort for the benefit of the team. Really great stuff. AND he scored an AWESOME goal. 8/10 performance.
Where We Stood, Where We Stand
Chelsea maintain their 100% record, and their 100% clean sheet record too. Seriously, when will they de-rail? It promises to be a spectacular derailment, if it happens...
2 points behind, but 35 games to go. We won't let Chelski run away with it, now!
Posted by Ikmal Salim at 4:33 AM