Ji-Sung Park continued his rich reign of scoring form against Wolves on Saturday but this time he left it late, very late in fact. Manchester United had to wait until the 93rd minute for Park’s winner against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford.
The most surprising fact about this game was the inclusion of Owen Hargreaves, back in the starting line up after over two years out. But his match didn’t last long and he pulled up with a hamstring strain after only six minutes, a complete disaster according to Sir Alex Ferguson, “We took a gamble with Owen Hargreaves,” said the boss.
“We thought by doing that it would give us a compact midfield with experience. But he only lasted five minutes. It was a disaster.
“He has hurt his hamstring, which is unbelievable.”
Unbelievable indeed, lets hope he will be back soon to help out title challenge.
Going into the match United were short of a number of first team players due to injury and illness, but despite a very low-key start from United they took the lead just before half time thanks to Park.
Matt Jarvis who had made himself known at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup was once again lively and the away side managed to bring themselves level thanks to United youth product Sylvan Ebanks -Blake as he turned past Vidic and shot between van der Sar’s legs.
United went for it in the latter stages of the half but breathed a sigh of relief when Steven Fletcher ballooned a shot over the bar from 10 yards.
But it was the South Korean who stole the show in the ninety-third minute will a brilliant solo effort and he was more than pleased with his winner, “I’m very happy,” Park declared.
“We’ve got another three points and I’ve scored the winning goal in the last minute. I’m very happy with that. ??
“You can’t compare this feeling to anything else, the feeling of scoring the winning goal in the last minute with the crowd all jumping up and shouting. It’s an unbelievable experience, I really enjoyed that.”??
He the explains how his wonderful solo effort came about,
“At first, I wanted to cross the ball but then I cut back and I kept driving,” he explained.
“I was going to shoot but the defender went to tackle me. I avoided the tackle and shot, I scored and everyone was happy.”?
Despite the win, the manner of the performance will be a concern to most. John O’Shea playing in a five-man midfield at home to a team that we have already beaten this season does not instill confidence in the attacking options we have or even our defensive solidity.
It wasn’t until Paul Scholes came on that United had any creativity coming from midfield, all in all the performance was poor but getting the three points is all that matters, especially as Chelsea and Arsenal both lost this weekend.
Sir Alex though was happy with the mental attitude of the side, “We’ve done it so many times and you have to admire the perseverance of the team, the never say die spirit,” Sir Alex said after the game.
“It was a long struggle. Given the changes I had to make, trying to get the continuity of performance was difficult today. ??
“I thought Wolves were the better team in the first half, they played very well but we got a great goal right on half-time and I thought that would settle us. In the second half we were the better team. We lost a bad goal on our part but went on to get a late winner.” He concluded.
The win now leaves United two points behind leaders Chelsea and three above both Arsenal and Manchester City who we face on Wednesday at Eastlands.
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