Rafael(Evans) Smalling Vidic Buttner
Valencia Carrick Anderson(Cleverley) Young
Another 1-0 win, another clean-sheet and yet another step towards that 20th league title. Although we didn't set any houses on fire, our players did quite well. We ran Sunderland off the park during the first half but The Black Cats did produce some kind of reaction in the second period and that made up for a tense final few minutes. Then again, the tension I felt during today's game was negligible when compared to the heart stopping final minutes we experienced last year in the equivalent fixture. But that's history now, although, when thinking about it, last year's game is probably the reason we're running away with the league this year.
An own goal, after some terrific work by RVP, paved the way to victory. We had a couple of decent chances to score more goals but that one goal will do. Valencia and Young worked hard today but did nothing too impressive. We're used to some good wingers at OT so only the highest of standards will do! That's probably the reason why I've been criticizing Young and Valencia (especially the latter) all season. Carrick was his usual self and so was Anderson i.e. the Brazilian got tired after the first half and faded out of the game by the 80th minute.
Our defense was excellent once again with our captain marshaling our defenders to another clean sheet. Vidic man of the match. Clean sheets were as rare as rain in the desert during the first half of the season, we're keeping clean-sheets for fun now!
So we're 15 points clear of City, 20 points clear of Tottenham, 22 points clear of Chelsea, 25 points clear of Arsenal and 32 points clear of Liverpool. Oh HAPPY DAYS!
Chelsea next in the FA Cup. Not expecting much from the game. It's Chelsea's only realistic chance of winning silverware this season so they'll probably be really up for it.