Sunderland 1 - 2 United
Rafael(Smalling) Jones Vidic Evra
Nani(Valencia) Carrick Cleverley Januzaj(Welbeck)
When the starting lineup was announced, I got all excited about the game. The starting XI players were probably the same XI I would have fielded if I was Man Utd's manager. Thankfully, I wasn't chosen by Fergie to build on his empire and my job is solely to support the boys from tiny Malta. The brilliant attacking football I had envisioned when the starting lineup filtered through twitter was nowhere to be seen during the first 45 minutes. However, Moyes' half time talk seems to have revved up our players as the second half performance was miles better than what we saw during the first half. Januzaj, the kid I've been all excited about during the past two years, scored his first goals for the senior squad.... and he took them like a veteran.
We were dire during the first half. From what I saw, our players created very few chances. Again, we gave our opponents some very good opportunities to score. In fact, Sunderland's goal could have easily been avoided. By the half time whistle, we were still in the game thanks to a stunning world class save by our goalie. Had that ball gone in, then I don't think we would have had enough in our locker to come back from two goals down. Sunderland would have parked a double decker in front of their goal and that would have been game over.
It is obvious that quite a few of our players are out of form. When that happens, you'll need a moment of brilliance from an individual who could turn the game on its head. In the past, when the team was underperforming, the likes of Ronaldo, Rooney and RVP pulled United out of trouble many a time. This game saw a teenager rise to the occasion and hand United the three points. The goals, especially the second, were brilliantly taken. During these difficult times, it was quite a bold decision by Moyes to put this youngster (albeit a brilliant youngster) in the starting XI. Reality is, there is no one better to play on the left so I hope we get to see young Adnan more often in the team. The sky is the limit for this youngster if he doesn't get carried away by the obvious hype that will surround him from now on. A lot of youngsters show promise but turn out to be average, mid-table, players. One might look at Macheda, Simpson and Richardson as prime examples. However, this kid is the real deal. Now, it is of utmost importance for United's management to offer Adnan a good contract. Otherwise, we might have to re-live the Pogba story all over again. That guy could (would) have been the solution to our midfield problems. Oh well.
Next game in a fortnight. Come on United!