United 3 - 2 Braga

Rafael Carrick Evans Buttner
Kagawa(Nani) Fletcher Cleverley Rooney
Chicharito(Giggs) RVP

United started the game on the wrong foot but managed to turn the result around, yet again. It's becoming a bit of a habit now and, as long as we keep winning, I don't really mind it. Whenever we concede first, I get an automatic feeling that we'll still win so I'm staying rather calm when we concede that 'inevitable' goal inside the first few minutes. Our boys definitely stayed calm. At two goals down, they worked wonders to turn the result in their favour, given that Braga cemented most of their players in their own half. 

This is becoming a common scene
The goals we conceded were quite sloppy. De Gea was especially furious when we conceded the second. On that occasion, Carrick's poor positioning showed how difficult it is for a midfielder to play as a central defender. If you're a central defender, you cannot get to the byline and let the opposing player get past you. As the game progressed, Carrick looked more confident and by the end of the game he was intercepting Braga's through balls for fun. His fellow central defender, Evans, had a good game and managed to score a goal as well. Johnny is getting in goal scoring positions and, unless he fluffs them all, I can see him getting a couple more goals during the season. Rafael keeps showing how much he has matured while, on the other side, Buttner showed that, with respect to his defensive duties, he has acres of room for improvement. He attacks brilliantly though.

I thought that both Fletcher and Cleverley played quite well albeit they did hesitate on a couple of occasions. Kagawa wasn't up to his best but still managed an assist before being substituted. It's been a while since I was pleased with Kagawa's performance. Rooney bust a lung for the United cause and his effort looked like it had taken it's toll on him. He looked exhausted by the end of the game. van Persie played some exquisite passes while Nani created some good chances but managed to frustrate me one time too many. 

Man of the Match
So this leaves us to the surprise of the evening: Chicharito. My man of the match. His first touch was astonishingly excellent, he hassled the opposing defenders and made them feel uneasy and his movement off the ball reminded me of his debut season. Oh, and he scored a brace. I like Chicharito but I was never a fan of his first touch, it always let him down. His instincts in front of goal are his main attributes but lately these instincts looked like they were letting him down as well. These two goals will do him the world of good and, to be honest, I'm quite relieved he managed to put in an excellent performance. Having 4 excellent strikers will not do any harm to our side.

The diamond formation didn't work. We were ten times better when a wide player was introduced. Fergie should take note of that and do his homework. On the other hand, I'm quite delighted with the character shown by our players to fight back. Massive massive game vs Chelsea next. I'm not too optimistic, especially if we let Chelsea get their noses in front inside the first 10 minutes. They have a pretty decent side back there. We'll wait and see.

  • Jonny Evans has scored his first goal in the Champions League in what is his 22nd appearance in the competition.
  • United's victory over Braga sees them join Arsenal as the second team in Champions League history to win twice after trailing by two goals.
  • This is the second time Man Utd have won just a Champions League game after they have been two goals behind. Last time this happened was the infamous 3-2 result v Juventus in April 1999.
  • Manchester United have now scored in their last 19 European matches in a row.
  • Manchester United have conceded the first goal in eight of their 12 competitive games so far in 2012-13


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