United 2 - 1 M'Boro, West Ham 0 - 2 United
I’ve been too busy to write about last Saturday’s incredible victory over Middlesbrough and I only managed to find some time in my hectic schedule to think about our most recent two PL games.
Let’s start with the M’Boro game.
I don’t think I’ve shouted at my TV as much as I have during this game. Shouts of anger, frustration and, finally, joy. I genuinely do not believe that any referee tries to get decisions against a particular team. Every little detail is scrutinised nowadays so why would a ref bother get himself in the limelight with wrong decisions when he knows people are going to turn on him? All mistakes are genuine but the lack of consistency is frightening. I couldn’t believe that Ibrahimovic’s goal was ruled out for dangerous play. I was looking at my screen not knowing whether to throw it out the window or just laugh off the ref’s decision. Then I see Rashford knocked off the ball by Middlesborough’s defender and the ref gave no penalty. This same season I’ve seen David Luiz getting just a yellow card for trying to dislocate Fellaini’s knee and Bravo going unpunished for almost breaking Rooney’s legs inside the box. Yet, Ibrahimovic’s goal was dangerous play. Referees shouldn’t be allowed to affect games as much as they are doing. Something needs to be done. We’ve had sooo many poor refereeing decisions go against us this year that it’s getting ridiculous.
Despite the ref’s decisions and the post trying to keep us away from the three points (TWICE), we still managed to win a game we were losing up until the 85th minute. Martial and Pogba managed to score two goals in two minutes as I jumped and ran around my room like I used to do in Fergie’s days. We absolutely deserved to win the game and no one deserved a goal more than our two best players on the pitch; Martial and Pogba. We may be slowly developing a sense of belief that we can win against anyone. A couple of months ago, we would have drawn this game. Our players’ mentality seems to be changing and that’s a great sign.
As for the West Ham game, I must admit that we were lucky. This time lady luck smiled a bit at our players. West Ham had a player sent off after just 15 minutes. The player was sent off by Mike Dean. This is the same referee who turned a blind eye to Barkley’s horror tackle on Henderson a fortnight ago. I’m definitely not complaining about getting this game’s big decision our way but the level of consistency in the Premier League has reached an alltime low.
The sending off obviously effected the game. West Ham were not interested in winning the match, even though they could have easily done so had Antonio placed in goal when one-on-one with our goalie, and they just crowded their final third. Our players were static though and created very little during the first half. We did create a chance which I’m not sure how Valencia and Lingard couldn’t finish. There had to be a change and Mourinho managed to bring on the right players, with the right attitude at the right time. Mata and Rashford replaced the subdued Darmian and Lingard and we suddenly looked better. Mata scored our first goal after some terrific work by Marcus Rashford who was my man of the match in his 40 minute display. Ibra put the game to bed when he cannoned the ball to the back of the net albeit from an offside position.
That’s six Premier League wins on the trot as we finally look like a team that means business. We are slowly catching up on the teams above us. I don’t believe we’ll be able to leapfrog Chelsea this season but, with the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find ourselves second on the PL table by mid-February. Three home games coming up. We’re playing Reading in the FA Cup, Hull in the League Cup and then a massive PL game vs. Liverpool. I expect three wins. Come on UNITED!