United 2 - 3 Athletic Bilbao

De Gea 
Rafael Smalling(Carrick) Evans Evra
Young Giggs(Nani) Jones Park(Anderson)
Chicharito Rooney

Our boys will have a tough task in Spain next week
What the hell was that? Athletic were either excellent today or we were very very poor. I guess it's a mixture of both. Since I only watch two games a season (the Classicos) from La Liga, I used to think that all teams in that league, aside from Barca and Real, are shit. I got the answer today. We were absolutely outplayed today by La Liga's fifth best team. Old Trafford, which used to be a European fortress, has become a place were such teams aren't afraid of taking the game to us. Bilbao deserved their win today, simple as that. 

These players impressed me
We were second best during the weekend but got out of the game with 3 points. We were second best today but lady luck didn't smile at us again. They scored two good goals but I can't really understand how the third goal came about. I'm not sure what's written in those darned FIFA rules but why on earth did the ref award a freekick to Bilbao just because Evra lost his boots? That freekick led to Bilbao's third goal which, if that penalty was not given, would have put the final nail in our European coffin. Oh and by the way, the player who scored Bilbao's second goal was in an offside position. However, I stress that they deserve their win. At least Rooney scored  a late penalty to add to the goal he had scored earlier. 

I'm not commenting more about the game but I'd like to make a point or two about the players who wore the United shirt today.

De Gea - He was excellent and kept us in the tie. He made 3 excellent saves and was unlucky to have some of his defenders not up to the task today. Up until that Blackburn game he was a more of a liability to our side but finally I can see him turning into one precious asset. He saved our ass in a handful of occasions now. Well done the Spaniard.
Rafael - I thought he was the hardest working player but he ruined a laborious display with that third goal. De Gea was busting a gut to get to the ball while Rafael, with an Athletic Bilbao player fast approaching, turned into a spectator and let Bilbao get their third goal. 
Evans - Our best outfield player. Why people keep questioning him after these past couple of months is beyond me.
Smalling - I'm not sure what he did right in the game. I'm not sure what he did wrong either to be honest.
Evra - I expect more from our captain.
Park - Wasn't effective.
Giggs - A couple of good passes but that was just it. We can't keep depending on our golden oldies. Our central midfield looked weary without the genius of Scholes. It's scary that we look a weakened side without the ginger prince. We just cannot keep relying on him and Giggsy. 
Jones - Poor performance. It's been a while since he played like he did during the first stage of the season. Is he as good as we thought/think he is?
Young - Never beat his man. Good performance last Sunday but still needs to convince me and I'm a person who adored him during his time at Aston Villa. 
Rooney - A handful of wayward passes but worked his ass off especially during the second half. Scored two as well to keep us in with a shout. 
Chicharito - Poor, very poor. 
Nani - Didn't do much but didn't have enough time to do anything really.
Anderson - Encouraging display. Plenty to go to regain full fitness I guess.
Carrick - Brought a bit of composure to an inexistent midfield. Giggs and Jones were quite poor in midfield today.

WBA next. That game is 10 times more important than today's game. Anything but three points will be suicidal. Come on United!


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