United 2 - 1 Everton

Fosu-Mensah(Valencia) Smalling Blind Rojo
Carrick Fellaini(Herrera)
Lingard Rooney Martial
These two played a blinder (especially the one in green) 
What a game! I am still pumped up after that win and I am writing this 6 hours after the final whistle. It's been a while since we've won a game like that and there isn't a sweeter way to win your most important game of the season (till now, anyway).  

We needed a win and our players showed that they wanted the win. The tempo was high from the very beginning of the game and it was inevitable that we wouldn't be able to keep that tempo all game long. In fact, there were 20 odd minutes when Everton well all over us and could have scored more than the one goal they got. Thankfully, that didn't happen and we emerged victorious out of a game that was a pleasure to watch. Mind you, it wasn't very pleasurable for me. I felt those dreaded nerves again, the ones I usually got whenever we played a game in the title run in. Heart skipping beats for fun. One mistake and other title challengers get the upper hand. Today's game felt exactly like that. It's not enjoyable but I missed it. Hard to explain but you probably know what I'm trying to say.

It's been a season when United's football was really boring but there was nothing boring about this game. I know that the term 'Magic of the FA Cup' is usually used when an underdog beats a big team, but today's game was magic. The way both teams attacked, the way players were putting in challenges for the ball, the link up play of some of our forwards and the excellent De Gea keeping Everton's strikers at bay. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. 

De Gea was a mere spectator last Wednesday when we played Palace but he earned his wage in today's game. I honestly think that he's the best goalkeeper in the world. If it wasn't for him today we would have probably lost the game. I thought we deserved to win it so despite DDG's great saves, I don't think we stole anything. We were better than Everton for a good 60 minutes I thought. Anyway, De Gea certainly deserved to be on the winning side. What a hand he managed to put behind Lukaku's penalty. What a save. My man of the match. 

Our players celebrate with the fans
A close runner up for man of the match has to be Martial. Wow. To think that journalists were actually saying we threw £50m down the drain when we bought him. He's going to be one hell of a footballer. Sod that, he's already a very good footballer. The way he skipped past Everton's defenders was reminiscent of the Giggsy and Ronaldo days. We haven't had a player who can go past a player like that since we sold Ronaldo. If our Frenchman keeps his head firmly screwed to his body, then we'll have a world beater in a couple of years. Martial created Fellaini's goal, after some good link-up play with Rashford and then scored the winner in the 92nd minute. I loved his celebration! That's passion. That's what I want to see from my players. Excellent. 

Both Rooney and Fellaini were a solid 8/10 today. Rooney looks like a natural in midfield. He's lost some pace, no doubt, but boy can he hit a pass! Everton gave him way too much time on the ball and that's exactly what Rooney wanted. He was spraying Scholes-esque passes all game long and showed he's a real leader on the pitch. Fellaini had the game of his life against West Ham in the FA Cup quarter final but I actually think he outdid that performance today. He was a menace in Everton's box and he's ever so reliable in our box. That was a very good all round performance by our big man. Good movement to score his goal but I was hugely impressed by the way he managed to save a dead cert goal with a last ditch tackle. The ground he covered to be in that position was a testament to how committed he was to the United cause. A lot of our own fans don't rate Fellaini but I actually like him and I think he's a good squad player to have. I was surprised to see him subbed off. Well played. 

I am not going to evaluate each player's performance but I thought I had to put the spotlight on the four players I mentioned above. They were that bit better than their team mates and played a huge role in determining who goes out on top today.

So we've got a final to look forward to. It has been almost 10 years since we last played in an FA Cup final. Was it 2007 vs. Chelsea the last time we played the final? Not sure about that and I can't be arsed to look it up on Google. I am just very happy about this game's result and am enjoying every minute of it. I've watched Martial's winner about 30 times and will watch it again when I finish this post. Ever since Fergie's retirement it's been hard watching Manchester United but I was always proud to support this great football club. This game has made me even prouder to be a follower of Manchester United. The FA Cup final can be our door to greater stuff. Come on United!

ps That Fosu-Mensah challenge was never a penalty. I hope that decision doesn't effect this exciting prospect's confidence.
pss Smalling has been our best outfield player this season. He had a good game today too. I forgive him for putting the ball in our keeper's net. 


Top Posts in Past Month