Valencia Smalling Evans Rojo(Carrick)
Di Maria(Januzaj) Blind Herrera Young
|Oh the ecstasy of winning right at the death|
Phew, that was close! We were better than Newcastle but failed to convert our possession into real chances. Whenever we went close to scoring, we found Krul in excellent form keeping our players off the scoresheet. Ironically, just before the final whistle, it was Krul who gifted us a goal on a plate and Young duly took the chance to win us the three points. It's been a while since we won a game right at the death, I had forgotten what a good feeling it is.
|Where would we be if it wasn't for this goalie?|
As I said, in terms of possession, we were all over Newcastle. However, they had as many chances as we did. De Gea produced some stunning saves today to keep a clean sheet and he was undoubtedly our best player on the pitch. World Class.
Most of our players put in an ordinary display. I can only think of one player who had a poor game but no player excelled tonight. Young worked hard on the left and managed to deliver a decent cross or two into the box. He was ultra composed to score the winner. Valencia did well on the overlap. Rooney worked his socks off and should be commended for his pressure on Krul which ultimately led to our winner at the death. Blind was tidy while Herrera was good in possession but his over-hesitation nearly cost us a goal. I thought Fellaini did well and would have been on the scoresheet if it wasn't for a minor miracle performed by Krul. I thought our defenders did OK too. Nothing out of this world and we were only playing a side that was annihilated by City a fortnight ago.
The one player I mentioned who had a bad game is Di Maria. Yet again, he had a stinker, I can't believe this is the same player who set the world alight last year at Real. He'll obviously find his feet again but I'm not sure when this will happen. With some major games coming up, we need Angel to be his old self as soon as possible.
Ultimately we got exactly what we wanted and needed; 3 points. Do we deserve the 3 points? We were better. We fluffed a few chances. We had Krul saving whenever we did everything right. We probably deserved a win but Newcastle had their fair share of chances. Their game was to operate on the counter so you cannot expect them to come close to us when it comes to possession. They did counter attack and they could have gotten something out of the game if it wasn't for De Gea. Was it an abysmal performance from United? No. As I said, we didn't do badly but we weren't ripping Newcastle apart either. We were ordinary. That's not Manchester United but I've seen United play like shit in the past and still come up with the 3 points. Sometimes such victories are sweeter.
Arsenal in the FA Cup next. A host of difficult Premier League tests will then follow. It'll be tough. Come on United!
LVG on Roo's effort that led to the goal: "It was a lost ball, but his fighting spirit is unbelievable."
P.s. I'm no grief junkie but the scene of Jonas Gutierrez getting onto the field of play was absolutely beautiful. I cannot help but wonder about the hard work this guy has put in his rehabilitation programme to get fit again for the Premier League. An inspiration.