United 4 -1 Derby
Brown Rio Vida Evra
Ronaldo Carrick Anderson Giggs
Winning this game was a must, all the 'big guns' have scored a couple of goals against this side and United managed to do the same. In terms of entertainment I'd give this match 3 stars, it was a good performance but the pitch might have dampened United's typical style of play. The ball moved too slow compared to the player's fast feet. Anyway United opened the score thanks to Giggs. Tevez scored a goal in each half and Ronaldo's penalty completed the rout.
The only highlights of the first half all came in the last 5 minutes. This is when Ryan Giggs scored his 100th goal for the club when he latched onto a rebounded Cristiano Ronaldo shot. Rooney should have doubled but his final shot hit the post but 3 minutes later Tevez managed to double United's lead thanks to some hesitant play by the Derby defence.
The second half kicked off brightly and United managed to add to the goal tally thanks to a fine strike by striker Tevez. Bringing his goal tally to 8. Giggs hit the post after superbly hitting a cross on the volley. Derby managed to decrease the margin when Howard somehow scored. Replays show that the ball hit his hand prior to hitting the net. A poor refereeing decision. The referee was again at the centre of attention when he awarded Ronaldo a penalty. To be honest I don't think this was a penalty but Ronaldo stepped up to convert the penalty into the bottom right of Bywater's goal. 4-1 was the final score.
A good game, and if the pitch conditions were great the margin could have been bigger. A sound performance from all the players especially Tevez who was the man of the match. In my opinion. He fought for every ball and scored 2 goals. Great player, great performance.
I must mention Brown, who's likely to be shown the exit door soon. He didn't accept the deal United offered and Fergie said 'there's no way back'. It would be a big disappointment if one of our home grown players leaves the club, especially Brown who's been a life long United supporter. His performances this season have been great and he's doing his best to replace the injured Neville. Full credit for that. I hope he (or his agent) decides to stay at Old Trafford. I don't want to see another Englishman leave Old Trafford, otherwise we'll end up like Arsenal. Full of foreigners.
Our next match is away vs Roma. I'm not expecting anything special from this match but a draw would do, a win would be a bonus.
Ratings - VDS-6, Brown-7, Ferdinand-8, Vidic-8, Evra-7, Ronaldo-7, Anderson-7, Carrick-7, Giggs-8, Rooney-7, Tevez-9. (O'shea-6, Fletcher-7, Saha-6)