United 1-0 Bursaspor
I hate to keep doing this to you, but again I was frustrated with this match. It was hard to be mesmerised by what happened tonight, though... But all in all, three points in the bag and the job got done in the end.
The game started magnificently, we exploited space, were pressing and Bursaspor looked under pressure. 7 minutes gone, Nani turns his two markers, runs towards the box and places the ball absolutely beautifully to the keeper's right and into the side netting. 1-0
But then, typical of Manchester United this season, the foot is taken almost immediately off the pedal. I say "almost immediately", because there was a spell of... 5 or so minutes after our first goal where it seriously looked like we were going to get another.
But we didn't.
A frustrating night in Europe, some would say, but in the end 1 goal was enough. I watched all 90+ minutes of that match, and really... that's all the action there really was.
3 points, hooray! After 2 straight draws, this is undeniably good—even if it's in the Champions League. A win is a win and there's a positive to be taken away from it, somewhere.
But man. He did it again. Why does Sir Alex have so much faith in Anderson? I'm not joking, can someone please offer me an explanation? I promise, I promise to stop criticising him if his inclusion can be put into words to me.
As far as I can see, he still doesn't contribute much.
I'd hate to admit it, but really, it was a typical United-in-2010-11 performance. Inconsistent passing between our midfielders, Sir Alex raising so many question marks with his team selection. He said he'd mix it up—there was a glimmer of hope in my mind that that meant 'resting' bloomin' Anderson—but really, it meant playing Macheda up front and Smalling and Kuszczak at the back. Otherwise, it was just a regular rotation.
Rafael | Smalling | Vidic | Evra
Fletcher | Carrick | Anderson
Nani | Macheda | Park
That was the team we played and there was no penetration, as you'd expect from a 4-3-3 slash 4-5-1.
Nani set the world alight in the first few minutes of the first half, and threatened to raise the tempo and motivate the other boys, but in the end it came to nothing.
Park, I felt, played too narrow for someone who was put down on paper to work the wing. Honestly, over the years, it's surprising they haven't stuck to it, but wingers win matches in Manchester.
Whether it's starting wide and cutting in, or reaching the by-line and swinging it in, it's usually at the wings where we're most dangerous.
Fergie brought Obertan on for Park—I'm sure Amer would be proud. And suddenly, we had two recognised wingers who actually worked the wings. Obertan, to be honest, didn't impress, although he had a few minutes in the limelight where he was the centre of all things good for us. He had a chance up in the right-wing position where he was twisting and turning like he usually does, causing confusion and in the end he won a corner. Good, positive play.
Anderson's subbed off for Chicharito and I couldn't see the clock but I sure as hell know it was way past the hour. But, enough Anderson-bashing, because Chicharito looked, as always, eager to get on the ball and create space. He had a couple of opportunities, one which is probably the clearest one where he was effectively 1-on-1 with the keeper and couldn't finish.
Best Player: Nani, without a shadow of a doubt. For the Manchester United we've had this season, he was head and shoulders above the rest—and he didn't even do much! This being said, I haven't mentioned anyone from Bursaspor at all and... that's kinda 'cause I felt they weren't a threat at all.
Sure, they kept it down, as a team, to 1 goal conceded. But they were never in danger, really, after the first 10 minutes.
Where We Stood, Where We Stand
That win means we're top by right, 2 points clear of Rangers as they drew 1-1 with Valencia at Ibrox.
Jolly good! Except uploading photos has been disabled. No photos for you!