Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reading 3 - 4 United

Lindegaard
Rafael(Smalling) Rio Evans Evra
Fletcher Carrick Anderson(Jones) Young
RVP(Welbeck)
A clear RVP goal wasn't seen by the linesman. United buy referees, they always say.
Now we're really taking the piss. Our players managed to get back from behind TWICE and did so in the space of a few minutes. Just when I thought that I've seen it all this season, we managed to let in three goals against a side sitting dangerously close to the bottom of the table. All their goals were scored before the 30 minute mark. The most satisfying aspect of the game is that our players never panicked, even when trailing, and managed to score enough to win us the game. In reality we should have won the game by a bigger margin, but the four goals will do, as long as they bring home the 3 points. However, just as we learned last season, the missed chances could cost us dearly if the title is decided by goals difference....but that ain't happening again. I'm willing to bet my left eyeball on that occurrence not happening any time soon.

Rafael was disappointed when subbed off
Let's start from the bad side of the game. The defence! None of our defenders, the goalie included, were up to the task yesterday. Evans and Rafael, our best performers this season, had a nightmare of a game. Rafael made rash tackles and was duly taken off before he got himself sent off. When he got booked, I told my friends that Rafa will be having an early shower today. Thankfully, Fergie subbed him off before he put us in more misery. All their goals came from players that Evans should have been marking, so he really had a bad game today. However, he managed to pick himself up and had a decent second half. Evra was very good on the overlap and managed to set up Rooney's second. His defending was on the verge of decent, though. Substitute Smalling was probably the best out of the bad bunch. 

Young approves Anderson's celebration
Our midfield had an on and off evening. Fletcher tried hard, very hard, but never really got into the game. Anderson was having an excellent game but, just as I had predicted, he got injured half way through. This fella cannot handle two starts on the trot. It's a pity that whenever he looks like getting near his predicted potential, he gets injured. He scored a scorcher today. It's a shame he had to offset the goal's beauty with an awful celebratory dance. Maybe that dance is bringing him the stinkiest of lucks in the world! Unlucky. I couldn't really comprehend why Fergie sent on Jones instead of Anderson, when there was Cleverley at his disposal. Jones didn't really bring anything to the team. Carrick kept the midfield ticking over while Young, compared to his most recent performances, had a decent game. His flick that set Evra free for Roo's goal was a joy to behold. Plenty of room for improvement though.

Rooney, my man of the match, managed to get back to scoring and got himself a brace while RVP scored a goal, which was beautifully set up by Roo, had a clear goal disallowed and missed an absolute sitter. 

A very strange game. I don't think I have ever seen United get involved in a 7 goal first half. It was undoubtedly a great game for the neutral, but I'm no neutral and winning these games by one goal will someday be the cause of my demise. My heart has been skipping beats for fun this season! With all of our rivals dropping points, we now have a 3 point lead heading into the Manchester Derby. 10 points away from us, lie Chelsea and Tottenham. Unless something of biblical proportions happens, this will be a two horse race. Let's hope we get something at the Etihad. City aren't the force they were last season. By this stage last season, they had scored 20 more goals! We're well capable of beating them, but if our defenders don't show up, then we won't be getting much joy. Thankfully, our 3 point lead puts us in a position were we could afford a slip up. Dead rubber game next, vs Cluj. Good opportunity for the youngsters to get a taste of what European football is about.

FACTS
  • 21 of the 36 points (58%) that Man Utd have won in the Premier League this season have been won from losing positions.
  • This was the sixth occasion in 2012 than Man Utd have scored 4+ goals in a PL game – more often than any other side.
  • Reading v Man Utd is only the third match in Premier League history to see seven first-half goals.
  • Manchester United had never conceded three goals before the 24th minute in a Premier League game before.
  • Wayne Rooney’s penalty was the 1000th goal that Manchester United have scored in the Premier League this century. 
  • No side have conceded the first goal of the game more often than Man Utd (10) in the Premier League this season.

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