While my immediate reaction of any defeat is always disappointment, I really don’t know what to think about this one.
As we all expected, Utd came out and pressured us from the off. But I can’t help thinking that we caused our own problems, in allowing them to push us back so far, which made it seem to me that they more often than not had two men pressing our one player.
Perhaps that’s just the sign of a good team though and the first half can be pretty well summed up in saying that they had us under the cosh.
Still, there were a couple of positives, in that we had chances to counter. The problem was though that the required quality through balls weren’t there today.
The other plus is that I got the impression that the players are beginning to understand where their team-mates are likely to be. It was just little things, like flicks from Benteke, some of which worked and some didn’t, but it was encouraging, in that you can see that we might actually have some sort of plan in the way we play.
Even so, with a few minutes to half time, I was thinking that if we could hold it at 0-0, we’d have come out of it very well.
Until Herrera scored.
And Utd went in at half time with an easily deserved lead.
I don’t remember De Gea touching the ball; the whole of our midfield had looked over-run, the attack were getting no service and the defence was battered. But it was still only 1-0. Not a desperate scoreline, by any means.
A quick comment on Rooney’s penalty call and having seen it a few times now, I don’t believe it was at all.
Yes, Clark probably had his arm on Rooney’s neck, but I’m always sceptical when the attacker is looking around to the ref before he’s dropped a couple of feet. Shocking and even cheating, in my opinion. More importantly, it wasn’t given and rightly so.
We looked better in the opening of the second half, but to be honest, I suspect it was more down to Utd taking it easier.And then Rooney scored with a nice touch and volley that was always going to be difficult to stop.He should never have been given the space, but hey ho.
Cole hit the corner for Benteke to put the ball past De Gea, who was awful in his attempt at saving and at 2-1, I still felt we might have a chance of a point.
Then Utd got the third and that was it, all over.
Man of the match for us? Clark, by a mile.
Summing up, I thought we were poor today. But as much as I really don’t think Utd are that good, they aren’t where they are in the league because they’re rubbish.
And with our record against them, today’s result was no disgrace. And probably somewhat expected, judging by the poll in the preview. Hence I’m not too downheartened.
On to a more important game then against QPR, who tonked Albion 4-1 today.
After having had a conversation a couple of days ago with a Baggies fan who predicted that QPR would beat Albion and Villa, I’m now a bit worried.