United 2 - 1 Stoke
Rafael Smalling Vidic Evra
Nani Gibson(Carrick) Fletcher Giggs
It was a deserved victory but we were too kind with Stoke. With the amount of possesion we had, United should have finished off Stoke by half time. Instead, we let Stoke get back into the match and this brought about a very nervy finish to the game. How many times have we said that this season?!
Fergie decided to give VDS another breather and Smalling started instead of the exhausted Rio. There were no surprise starters in midfield and at the front, given that Rooney failed a fitness test, there were only two players who were going to start this game. Two superb finishes by Chichartio and Nani were enough for us to get the much needed three points and stay at the top of the table. I can now enjoy a good game of football tomorrow that will result, hopefully, in a draw.
We were quite poor on the left flank. Evra seems to be tired and Giggsy played well at times but tried too many fancy flicks and tricks which was a tad too much to be honest. He should know that before killing off an opponent no one should have the audacity to try those kind of passes. Anyway the right flank proved to be our livewire once again. Nani made an assist and scored while Rafael was excellent in defending and attacked well. In the middle of the pitch, Fletcher made a couple of fantastic tackles and Gibbo did his job without being spectacular. At the front Berbatov had a quiet game while Chicho scored and set one up for Nani.
The goal we conceded was, in my opinion, the fault of our two centre backs. Smalling, who had a good game, was caught out of position and Vidic left Whitehead unmarked. It was the only shot on target from Stoke and Kuzschack(sorry but I still cannot spell his name!) couldn't do anything about it.
At this rate, if we continue to fail to finish off opponents we will defenitely pay the penalty come the end of the season with more points dropped and a couple of supporters' hearts crumbling under the pressure of the final tense minutes. For the sake of our health and of course the quest to clinch that 19th title, please, United, start killing off opponents!!! Meanwhile the Liverpool game looms large