After waiting for two weeks to see United play again, and after two consecutive wins, the game at West Brom was yet another draw away from Old Trafford.
We were looking forward to see who’d play, and hoping that the team gets their first away win of the season at the fourth time of asking. Even with Falcao on the bench, and Rooney still suspended, we all felt that United would be good enough to come back from The Hawthorns with all the point, though many of us had the usual ‘oh no look at our defence’ feeling.
When West Brom scored to go ahead, it looked like it would be yet another uphill struggle, but United had enough chances to turn it around by half-time. They didn’t, so went into the break still 1-0 down.
The introduction of Fellaini made a difference, as it was the Belgian who equalised at the start of the second half. More chances came and went, yet it was West Brom who went back into the lead with 25 minutes to go. Thankfully Danny Blind found an opening in the last three minutes to score and make sure United don’t get out of there empty-handed.
It would be easy to lament yet another incident in the box that should have been a penalty to United, but the bigger concern is the defence, as every time our opponents attack, there’s a chance that United could concede (West Brom scored from their only two shots on target).
Something definitely has to be done to start getting a few more clean sheets, as no matter who plays and what system is used, they look all over the place and disorganised.
Also, as much as I like Juan Mata, and think he’s still one of a few world class players at the club, he needs to be doing more when the team needs some oomph. Maybe this is why he had lost his place in Mourinho’s Chelsea team?
Looking at the other teams that should be challenging for a top four finish, only Arsenal dropped points, though they have Danny Welbeck to thank for that as he scored an injury-time equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Steve Bruce’s Hull. L’pool got out of jail with a 3-2 win at a poor QPR side, while City beat Tottenham 4-1, with Aguero scoring all four. Chelsea, in a league of their own right now, managed to win another London derby even without Diego Costa, this time beating Crystal Palace 2-1. Another result worth mentioning is Southampton’s 8-0 demolition of Gus Poyet’s Sunderland.
In other news, Chelsea and Arsenal both won in Europe, while City threw away a two goal lead in Russia to draw 2-2 at CSKA Moscow. As for L’pool, they were given a footballing lesson by Real Madrid in a 3-0 defeat at Anfield, though going by some headlines it’s all Balotelli’s fault for swapping his shirt with Pepe at half-time. Ironic how many of their supporters are getting their knickers in a twist about something quite trivial, when the same people hardly found anything wrong when one of their players was going around biting opponents and being racist. Of course Balotelli should have waited to swap shirts, but what if he did it knowing he’d be taken off at half-time? Maybe he should have waited until he was inside the tunnel, away from the cameras.
Back to United, a lot was made of Sir Alex seemingly saying that it wasn’t his fault that David Moyes failed at United. The way we see it, neither he nor anyone involved in picking Moyes realised that the job would be too big for the former Everton manager, and Moyes was like a rabbit in headlights when he saw how massive the task was.
Meanwhile, former United legend Roy Keane has been on a tour to promote his new book. It’s slightly sad to see him take pops at Sir Alex, but can’t blame him for how he was treated at the end of his career at the club. Personally, I wouldn’t want to take sides as both have done some things wrong (don’t we all?), and I’ll always be grateful to both of them for all the success they brought to the club we all love and support.
We now look forward with some trepidation (or lots?) at the next two games, starting with Sunday’s clash at home to Chelsea. With news that both Di Maria and Herrera should be fit for this one, and Falcao having another week’s training under his belt, this could prove to be a make or break game in United’s season. A win would be a morale booster ahead of the trip across the city for the derby, though a defeat would make this season seem like the last one, where United were taking one step forward and two steps backwards.
At least we know that with the midfielders and forwards that United have, we can hope that the team can compete with runaway leaders Chelsea… COME ON UNITED!!!