Real Sociedad 0 - 0 United
Smalling Rio Vidic Evra
Valencia Fellaini(s/o) Giggs Kagawa(Jones)
What a game! Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. OK, I'm only kidding. These away fixtures in the group stages of the Champions League are often quite drab. This is generally because we tend to defend away from home and then hope that we can win our home games handsomely. Three home wins would most definitely mean qualification to the next round of the CL. We looked pretty pleased with a draw during the first half and, although we were in absolute control, we never really looked bothered to attack Bravo's goal.
Our players did much better during the second half but lady luck wasn't really interested in smiling at us. In fact, Chicharito somehow shot wide with the goal gaping. I don't think we'll ever see Hernandez miss from that distance again. I would have scored that, even if I had both of my legs in plaster. That's how bad a miss it was. Chicharito and Roo were replaced by Young and RVP. The players who were put on had an immediate impact. After a few minutes on the pitch, Young crossed the ball to RVP and the latter hit the post. Shortly after, Young produced an immaculate diving skill to win us a penalty. Justice was done as RVP hit the post from the spot. Again, that was quite shameful of Young. The ref is obviously ignorant of the fact that Young is a renowned diver in England and that's probably why he awarded the penalty. The dive was so blatant it was embarrassing.
Kagawa had a very good game today. He started on the left but drifted to the middle of the park when Roo was subbed off. I think this was the best we've seen Shinji this season. He did well on the left but looked much better when he played behind the striker. It's shame that he doesn't seem to fit in this side. If he's played in an advanced midfield role, either Roo or RVP will probably have to stay on the bench and that's not really attractive, is it?
You'll probably be surprised but I was also pleased with the way Fellaini played (note - apparently Roy Keane agrees with me). Yes, he got sent off but I think his dismissal was quite harsh. Those fouls would have never been yellow carded in a premier league game. Anyway, I thought Fellaini distributed the ball well and did reasonably well to destruct Sociedad's attacks. He won a lot of balls in the air and bullied Sociedad's players off the ball. That's what he was bought to do. He's not a player who'll create chances, his role is to protect our defenders from the opposition. As a result, our back four had an easy game and De Gea was barely tested.
Over and above all we got a point in Spain. I like the sound of that. But in reality we weren't playing against a Spanish giant. We were playing an ordinary team and could have easily won the three points. Will the missed chances come back to haunt us? We'll get to know on the 10th of December. Until then, we've got the little matter of trying to claw our way back to the top of the Premier League. We've made it quite difficult for ourselves but nothing's impossible, especially if we manage to win on Sunday. Can we win against Arsenal? Of course we can! They're definitely on top form but their defence doesn't really impress me and I'm not a fan of their goalie either. On the other hand, they've got the best midfield in the PL and if our midfielders are not up to it, then they'll probably beat us convincingly.
Come on United!