United 0 - 0 Chelsea
Young Smalling Blind Darmian(Bortwick Jackson)
Mata(Memphis) Herrera Martial
Unlucky. That’s the word that comes to my mind when thinking about our game against Chelsea. We hit the woodwork twice, were denied a clear penalty and saw Curtoius perform a miracle save on Herrera. The ball just didn’t want to go in. Our boys finally dared to play football and the result was a very good performance. It was a joy to see such good wing play from Young, Darmian, Mata and Martial. It had been a while.
Tackles were flying, pressure was applied throughout the game; our players showed that they care. There were games during the past few weeks were you’d just wonder whether our boys really care about this great football club they are representing. I went as far as saying that LVG has lost the dressing room because some of the players looked like they couldn’t give a toss. The players, however, gave us an answer today. They care, they want to fight for this club, and they want this slump to end.
Rooney looked a bit like the Rooney of old, including a moment of silliness that could have seen him sent off. He was spraying passes for fun and actually attempted a decent shot from outside the box. That’s something a raw young Rooney used to do. A great Bortwick Jackson cross should have seen Rooney score the winner but the latter opted for a volley rather than a header and the result was a miss from a few yards out. Awful miss, but nothing compared to Matic’s horrendous effort when one-on-one with DDG. That’s the time when our defence was caught too far up the pitch and Matic had a great chance to win it. That’s what you get when you fullbacks are instructed to bomb forward. It’s great for the eye but there are times when we’ll get caught. But I don’t mind that. We’re used to seeing Manchester United teams risk everything to win a game so we should be doing it now too. Apart from that, we’ve got an excellent goalie who’s well capable of dragging us out of shit should our defenders fail to do so.
We’re still winless in seven (or is it eight?) games but I’ve seen improvements in this game. Ok, we were playing a struggling Chelsea side so we could have been made to look good by their frailties but Manchester United vs Chelsea has always been a big game during the past decade and it’s great to see our players rise up to the occasion. The return of Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger obviously helped us a lot. I’ve seen some Schneiderlin stats and I have no idea why LVG wasn’t playing him. Carrick is more and more looking like a 34 year old player. He’s not having a great season.
Despite the good performance, I still think that something needs to change. Yes, our boys played well but we still didn’t get the three points. Sometimes you make your own luck. We’re still quite close to the top so our season can be saved. We need to stop the rot though. This game might be the first step towards doing so. Our players now know that they can play well and maybe confidence might start to creep into our team again. Confidence is key. No matter what you’ve won in the past, no matter how much talent you possess; you don’t go anywhere without confidence. Just look at star studded Chelsea lying near the relegation zone. Our players need their confidence back and such games will help them regain it. Also, if LVG is staying at Man Utd, we need to get our confidence back in him. A team will struggle if the fans do not believe in the manager. I believe that there needs to be a change but am willing to give LVG a chance, especially if this means keeping Mourinho away from our club. He’s a good manager, no doubt, but I don’t want his antics anywhere near Manchester United. And for all those calling for Giggs to become our manager, they have absolutely no idea what they’re saying. He admitted that he found the job really hard when he had to take over from Moyes for a few games in a season that could not be saved.
Was this a game that signals the revival of our players? It certainly gives us hope that things will improve. We’ll have to wait till Saturday to see if this was indeed a step in the right direction or whether it was another false dawn. Till then, I hope you have a great end to 2015. Come on United!