Well, how easy was that?
Unai Emery surprised me with this game, with the team he chose. I think the commentator said it included eight of our most expensive signings and was very close to our best possible side, notwithstanding injuries.
The manager was taking no prisoners and it shows how seriously he is going to take this competition.
I don’t expect that he’ll play the return leg with anywhere near a similar strength side, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he only makes two or three changes, at first, at least, just to see how it goes.
Yes, even though you would bet your boots that Hibs won’t be coming back from this score.
So the gulf in class showed, just as it rightly should have, but we should remember that we’ve had a gulf in class in our favour a few times and have failed to get a result. I’m sure I don’t need to mention Stevenage or Millwall, examples that immediately spring to mind.
But this time it seems different.
When you consider that we’re about/we’ve just sold a kid with a few appearances in the first team for just under £20 million (Archer), which is probably more than the whole opposition cost, it’s only right that we should win.
And it continues to show the gulf in the English and Scottish games.
How typical was it that just as I start to verbally lay the boot into Ollie Watkins, so he shows us that I don’t know what I’m talking about and scores a hat-trick. I’m chuffed for him.
I suppose normally that would justify him the man of the match award and I’m guessing that he probably did get it officially, but as much as I’m happy for the forward, so I don’t really think he did anything special to get them.
I’m taking nothing away from him, as you still have to put them in the net, but really they were all very easy chances that were very poorly defended.
No, I’m going to give that award to Lucas Digne, who has hit top form and carried on fron Saturday in consistently banging great deliveries into the box. Again though, it was all too easy and he was given the freedom of the left wing to do as he liked in the first half. Perhaps the bigger surprise was that Hibs didn’t even try to cancel that part of our game. Or perhaps they just couldn’t?
Hibs tried what has obviously been seen as one of our weaknesses and tried to get in behind the left, only to be found wanting and just lacking the required quality.
That pretty much summed up the game and the Edinburgh side just had nothing to counter our superior strength, athleticism and particulaly our slick passing in their third.
I actually found it slightly embarassing at times, but such can be the nature of cup games.
After we wrap up the tie at Villa park next week, I’ve no doubt that we’ll see more of this type of game as we progress. Which I fully expect us to do to quite an advanced stage as a minimum.
I know many don’t like the idea of this cup, but I’m all for it. Long may these sorts of victories continue and UTV!