Here’s a post that has now become irrelevant given its delay in appearing earlier. Plenty has already been said about it but I will do the needful and get the report out of the way. But honestly, it won’t be too long drawn.
United played Dynamo Kyiv (Kiev, depending on which broadsheet you have been reading) at home needing a win, and a favour from Roma to ensure qualification to the next round of the Champions’ League. There was enormous optimism prior to this game (or, should we say, arrogance?) going by the prediction of this blogger in the preview.
As expected we brushed aside the team in what turned out rather ridiculous and questioned the very essence of the Champions’ League; especially Platini’s earlier plans of getting more East European sides into the competition.
The manager, fully aware of the danger that Blackburn could pose in the weekend, decided to field a mostly experimental line up. Rooney and Tevez spearheaded the attack while Nani, in the place of Giggs, and Ronaldo started on the wings. The midfield composed of Carrick and Fletcher, while Pique was paired alongside Vidic and Danny Simpson handed his first Champions’ League start of his career. Evra played in his customary left-back position as EVDS donned the gloves. It was the usual 4-4-2 formation.
The match, as such, started quite slowly as the Kyiv side made a good fist of it, by not looking as abject as they were last time. This was before Pique opened the scoring off a free kick, where Tevez appeared offside in the flick on. The second one however followed pretty soon, as in the 37th minute, Tevez won the ball and cut inside before playing a quick one two with Rooney and finished it off with a powerful shot past the ‘keeper Shovkovskiy (who actually had a good game, overall). It was exciting stuff as the commentators belted the now cliched, Who said Rooney and Tevez could not play together?, line.
Not to be left out, Rooney continued in his outstanding vein of goalscoring form with a placed shot off an excellent Nani cross in the 76th minute. And Ronaldo scored a goal known for his perfect first touch with a backheel that helped dodge his man before powering a shot past the keeper in the 88th minute.
That was the gist of the game. But there is nothing to talk about really. It was a job well done. Scoring four goals and staying unbeaten in the group stages, not to mention qualifying so early, is always a good thing. But as Rooney said in the post match:
â€œIt was difficult though because they didnâ€™t want to play. It spoilt the game and I didnâ€™t really enjoy playing in it. It was one of those nights but we did a good job and got the win.
â€œIt was like a training session, they came and showed no enthusiasm to play the game. At times we played some good football, but it was a slow game. The main thing, though, was that we won the game.â€
True indeed. But again it was nice to see the young ones getting a run in the side. Pique had a solid day and so did Danny Simpson. Evans also came on as a late sub. Goes to show how meaningless it turned out at the end of the day.
Anyway, moving on to other things, Vidic has finally signed his contract tying him to the club till 2012. Reports say that the contract doubled his salary, which is only fair to him for his contribution to the side ever since he arrived.
More on our youth as the manager intends to play Evans and the other two of our most promising defensive trio (Pique and Simpson) chances in the remaining two games of the Champions’ League. He also thinks they will be very important during the crunch games in December. While he reiterates that we plan on topping the group, playing the kids is a luxury he can still well afford. Of the three, Pique looks more likely to at least push Brown, Silvestre and O’Shea — if not Vidic or Rio — as he can play at right back, centre back or even defensive midfield.
Finally, David Bentley claims that his team feel confident of nicking some points against United. Actually, he is right to feel so as Blackburn have managed to nick points off three of the so called Big Four. More over, they have been a team we’ve not had too much success against and SAF realizes how important it is to get full points against them.
But more on that and other things, tomorrow and Sunday as we lead you up to kick off. I, on the other hand, must run off for now to deal with some pressing work.
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