Jones Smalling Vida Evra
Valencia Carrick Fletcher(Chicharito) Kagawa
This morning everybody was trying to guess how many goals United were going to concede to the mighty Bayern Munich. Three, four, five, someone even said Bayern will hit SIX! We just didn't have a chance. So I watched today's game with no expectations whatsoever, I knew we were playing the best team in Europe (mind you, I don't think Bayern will win the CL...it's a gut feeling) and I just wanted United to bow out of the Champions League with a performance worthy of the great football club that we are. Our players didn't disappoint. At the end of the day we did concede three but some of our players gave their all for the red shirt and I'm very proud of them. Jones was United's man of the match, absolutely excellent.
A moment of brilliance from Patrice Evra (of all people) did give us some time to dream, not a lot of time though, just 72 seconds. Evra hit the sweetest volley he'll ever hit in his life, probably one of this year's best CL goals, and I was going bezerk at the place where I watch United. I was about to get back to my seat when I told my friend "I think we scored too early, Bayern will up a gear now". I don't think I had finished the sentence when Bayern leveled. Those two minutes showed us the brilliance of Evra when going forward and the harsh fact that he's become shit when defending. I think he was to blame for Bayern's first. Their first goal could have easily been defended but our level of concentration decreased exponentially when Evra hit that super strike. At 1-1 Rooney had one heck of a chance to make it two but he missed and that's when we lost the game. Bayern took over, scored two and put the final nail in our season's coffin. That was our last Champions League game for, at least, another year.
I cannot fault our performance up to the 60th minute. I can't help but think that the worst thing that happened to us tonight was indeed when we scored first with half an hour still to go. You just get the feeling that a team of Bayern's excellence will come up with a reply. They hit us at the worst time possible. Anyone who plays football knows that conceding a goal seconds after scoring one is a killer blow. To make matters worse, I thought all three goals were very defendable. Our defence didn't put a foot wrong for an hour but everything when balls up after we scored our only goal.
The likes of Fletcher, Welbeck, Kagawa, Jones, Valencia and Smalling impressed me today. The levels of energy they put in was a joy to watch and augurs well for the future. I expect all of them to still be at the club come next August. Vidic and Evra evidently tired out as the match wore on. I was slightly disappointed with Rooney coz he could have snatched a brace today but hesitated and did what Welbeck usually does in front of goal i.e. scuffed his chances. I guess Roo was really injured and perhaps it wasn't the wisest of ideas to play him the whole game today. However, had he not started the game the Moyesout brigade would have absolutely hammered our manager.
I like what I've seen lately from United. We bowed out of the CL with a real fight and put to the sword a couple of Premier League teams in the past weeks. I do wonder whether RVP's exclusion from the side (due to injury) has helped our team perform better since Mata and Kagawa have been playing in their ideal position. What's even more encouraging is the fact that, contrary to what these keyboard warriors like to suggest, Moyes does have a clue about tactics as he was spot on in the first leg and again in today's game. His game obviously needs some polishing but the past few performances bode well for the future. I was becoming a bit sceptic when our team lost comfortably to the likes of Chelsea, City and Liverpool. Our players looked tame in those games, however, they were fearless when they played Bayern.
So this is the last Champions League post on this blog for the foreseeable future. Don't worry Europe, we'll be back.