United 1 - 0 Galatasaray
Rafael Vidic Evans Evra
Valencia Carrick Scholes(Fletcher) Nani
So we needed to start on a good note and we did..... but only just. Carrick scored after 7 minutes and I thought the Turks were there for the taking. However they battled back and could have easily drawn the game. Our side put in a lackluster performance, not too different from what we witnessed in the CL last season.
|Man of the Match - Carrick|
Galatasaray were quite unlucky not to be awarded a penalty one minute into the game but the ref decided to turn a blind eye on a clumsy tackle by Vida. The Turks also hit the bar with a sublime effort by one of their strikers and De Gea also made two stunning saves in quick succession to keep the Turkish giants at bay. Carrick was my man of the match today. Apart from scoring a decent goal, he also managed to break countless of Galatasaray attacks and distributed the ball with aplomb. Excellent footballer. Scholes didn't have a bad game either although he wasn't spraying balls to the wings like we're used to seeing in the PL. His tackling was good though, as astonishing as it may sound.
|RVP needs more games|
Valencia wasn't up to the task today. Sure, he did take on Galatasaray's right back and beat him on a couple of times but there was no end product. Sometimes I get the feeling that Valencia, as much as I like him, just shoots the ball into the box without targeting anyone in particular. I've been getting that feeling for quite some time. Obviously I'm not complaining because he manages a good amount of assists per year. Whether his assists are intended is a different matter. On the left Nani was his usual self. Frustrating at times and brilliant on others. He missed a penalty. I admit, it wasn't the best of efforts but it was certainly a better taken penalty than RVP's(vs Southampton) or Chicharito's(vs Wigan). Unfortunately a fair amount of United fans decide to look at him when he's at his worst. On United forums and facebook pages today, he came under a barrage of abuse. However, he did create a host of decent chances, which Chicharito and RVP spurned. I like Nani, maybe I try hard to like him. He's a good footballer but his actions may deem him as one of those unlikable players. You know, the ones in the fold of Joey Barton and Balotelli just to name a few (although I happen to like both of them). This will most definitely be his defining season. If he comes up with the goods, then Fergie will offer a new contract otherwise he'll probably be shipped out at the end of the season. Which would be a shame.
RVP was anonymous. Kagawa was bullied off the ball on countless of occasions. Chicharito has brilliant movement but has lost all confidence when in front of goal while I was particularly pleased with Rafael and Evans. Vidic looked slow while Evra was lazy. I'm not too keen on this 4-5-1 formation. Whenever we used that formation, our midfielders had no options and hence we never really performed. I'm more of a 4-4-2 fan.
Liverpool next. It's their cup final, they'll be up for it. They're enduring a very hard season but I wouldn't be surprised if they beat us on Sunday. Not much optimism, I know, but it's just a gut feeling.
Darren Fletcher made his first appearance in 10 months for Manchester United. Great to see him back.
Man Utd have already missed as many penalties this season as they did in the whole of 2011/12 (all comps).
United have now missed a penalty in 3 consecutive games (van Persie, Hernandez, Nani).