Not the goal-fest I was hoping for (although we did create many chances) and credit to Sheffield United for giving us a hard time.
It’s good to see Manchester United not lose their shape and discipline after going behind – we’ve shown this season that we can come back from a goal down, take control and win the game. We did it against Wigan, we did it yesterday against Sheffield Utd and I’m sure we’ll be doing it again as well.
It doesn’t matter (yet) if we’re doing it against the small teams only – but it is indicative of the improvements Ferguson’s made to the team’s approach to each game.
Of two penalty claims, I didn’t get a good enough look at the replays for the second one (Scholes), but I caught the first one on Saha and while it wasn’t enough for a penalty, I’ve seen those given as yellow cards. Referees should be allowed to (or be proactive enough to) give these as indirect free-kicks instead of penalties, because right now players have to be brought down by two-footed lunges before a penalty’s given. The Sheff Utd player had no chance to get the ball, he jumped and collided into Saha to knock him off balance. It’s a foul, but it would have been too harsh to give as a penalty.
What do we do? Indirect free-kick?
Plus Hasan tells me that Sheffield United had a few legitimate free kicks denied themselves (I didnt catch the whole game), so it’s not as if only one side suffered.
I’ve put up vids of the two Rooney goals (both were hard to pull off, but the first one was really, really good), the Ronaldo miss (awful) and the first-half highlights which show the Sheffield United goal plus two penalty claims as well (see 40th second onwards for the incidents).
Sheffield United 1-1 Manchester United – Rooney’s 1st goal
Sheffield United 1-2 Manchester United – Rooney’s 2nd goal
Sheffield United 1-2 Manchester United – Ronaldo’s 3-yard open goal miss
Sheffield United 1-2 Manchester United – First-half analysis
Manchester United’s Upcoming Fixtures
I thought I’d take a look at the upcoming fixture list, and apparently Celtic and Chelsea are only the beginning of a tough series of games.
(all times are GMT)
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 (UEFA Champions League)
Celtic v Man Utd, 19:45
Sunday, 26 November 2006 (Barclays Premiership)
Man Utd v Chelsea, 16:00
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 (Barclays Premiership)
Man Utd v Everton, 19:45
Saturday, 02 December 2006 (Barclays Premiership)
Middlesbrough v Man Utd, 17:15
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 (UEFA Champions League)
Man Utd v Benfica, 19:45
Saturday, 09 December 2006 (Barclays Premiership)
Man Utd v Man City, 12:45
All are must win games, although apart from the Celtic and Chelsea games I’m not really worried about the rest (unless one of the front four gets injured). As long as we’re scoring goals we should win.
I’ll do an extensive preview next week of the Manchester United vs Chelsea game – after all, it might just decide the season.