Hernandez scores the winner against Everton

Chicharito gets his obligatory goal

After the dismay of Wembley and the frustration that was the goalless draw with Newcastle the previous week, Manchester United will have been keen to get their title charge back on track, and take themselves a step closer to an historic 19th league title.

In the wake of Chelsea’s recent resurgence, Sir Alex Ferguson will have been well aware that his team could ill afford any dropped points, and the importance in keeping the West London club and Arsenal at a reasonable distance. And with 60 minutes gone, bringing about 4 hours without a United goal, in a match that saw United mostly in control, it looked like it may well have been another frustrating afternoon, a game that lacked an end product, potentially yet more dropped points.

But, as fans have grown accustomed to this season, a lifeline was provided by the Mexican sensation, popping up in the right place at the right time to place Valencia’s cross past Tim Howard with 7 minutes to spare. Relief for United in what was considered a significant 3 points, now requiring 7 if they were to regain the Premier League crown. And as such, here are five things that may be taken from the game.

1) Fabio Da Silva’s tenacious attitude is admirable

With Rafael having been injured of late, and a lack of a true right back, it fell upon Fabio to occupy the right side of the defence. The logic behind this being that an attack minded right back such as Fabio, combined with Valencia would be more effective in exploiting the vulnerable Leighton Baines opposing them, providing more attacking opportunities going down the wing. And so this proved very successful with the young Brazilian regularly getting involved in attacking play and Valencia able to exploit Everton’s weakness effectively.

However, the main point about Fabio is his spirit in his play. As his own progress had been hampered by injury early on, it is only recently that United fans have been able to see the talents of “the other twin” and make first impressions and some will say plenty of promise has been shown. We saw Fabio fight for every ball that came his way, taking a couple of knocks on the way, he seemed to get back up, unfazed ready to get stuck in for the next chance that came his way. The image of the scrappy little defender with tissues up his nose from an earlier knock fighting for possession will have drawn admiration, displaying an unrelenting attitude in refusing to back off and making a nuisance of himself to Everton’s forwards.

2) Should Nani be playing on the left?

I am aware that merely weeks ago, I stated that I felt the combination of Nani and Valencia could work despite reservations made in the past about it’s efficacy. However, one must admit at times that this partnership on the wings may be far more awkward that one would hope for. With Valencia injured, Nani seemed to thrive out on the right, producing some of the finest performances since arriving at Old Trafford. Although initially the prospect of these two on the wings looked hopeful, there have been times where Nani has looked out of place on the left, although he displayed some promising individualism, his delivery lacked precision and his involvement in build up play was not at the standard we have come to expect of late.

It may well have been an off day, as the rest of United’s attack seemed to be in the midst of in recent games, but all the same there are doubts as to whether the Valencia – Nani combination can become as strong as fans would hope. The fact that Nani found himself replaced with Michael Owen later on was suggestive of the off-colour afternoon the Portugal international was having. Incidentally, it should be noted that Michael Owen looked sharp on his introduction, wasting no time in getting involved and providing a new threat for United up front.

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Continued on page two.

15 responses to “Five Things We Learned – United vs. Everton at Old Trafford”

  1. Bawlung Chuih says:

    If Utd stick with Owen in City match at Wembley, the chance of treble will still in hand today. I didn’t know why Fergie still left owen at bench. Nani is one os the most greediest footballer in EPL. Sell Nani and stick with Owen for next season 20th EPL title.

    Utd should brave to sell Nani and Berbatov and try to replace them with Modric and someone with left-foot striker

    • Ezra says:

      Are you serious? What stats or facts are you using? Owen! Even a Stoke fan will laugh at this. But anyway it’s your opinion.

  2. Ezra says:

    Nice article. Can I also point out the Performance by Anderson was outstanding. Making sharp passes, running in attack and tackling.
    However Gibson and O’shea are VERY DISAPPOINTING. Esp Gibson was a spectator only to kick the ball wide when he got the chance.
    I pity Nani, and am very afraid if he’s played at the left being substitued in many games, he will want to walk away from the club, mark my words.
    Giggs Vintage. Evra Super. Rooney should one day play midfield with either Ando or Fletcher. And now we are seeing the Real Fabio. Valencia is back with the runs and great crosses.
    Chicharito, I have no words for him. BEST.

    • Zayd says:

      Indeed, I agree with your points completely. Anderson was superb and I should have mentioned something about him. Hopefully Nani can be put to better effect because the standard he set this season has been brilliant.

  3. adem dedo says:

    i am intersted with all manche players

  4. adem dedo says:

    i want to be one of the best supporter of manchester united club

  5. adem dedo says:

    Manchester united is my lovely club. So i like it so much.

  6. Getachew says:

    Well done chicharito well done man u my lovely club

  7. John Tring says:

    ZJ, you may be right but the 2 most obvious points learnt ( actually reconfirmed yet again ) were not mentioned by you. 1. Just how bad are Gibson and Evans? Clearly beyond all imagination. Exactly why they are still Utd squad is beyond me and millions others. 2. This win has been hailed as a vidication but I truly hope this “win” does not come back to haunt Utd. Utd should have gone in with the best team and scored a few goals. In the unlikely even Utd lose to Chelski and Arse, they will actually lose the title beacuse of goal difference, now only at +2. SAF is aware?

    • Zayd says:

      Good points. However, I actually thought Evans, whilst not brilliant, certainly held his own on Saturday, and though it is true Gibson was probably the weakest player, to once again be critical and question their position in the squad would take away from the point of the “five things we learned” aspect, because I would just be regurgitating previous sentiments.
      Your point about the goal difference is true, and with Chelsea now seemingly on a run of form, United will have to be careful in maintaining a healthy lead over them, whilst Arsenal’s challenge seems to have diminished somewhat.

  8. Denise Williams says:

    I am sorry Ezra but Owen should have been brought on at Wembley against City as he is far more likely to get you a goal than Fabio who he did bring on. Personally I think Fergie’s treatment of Owen has been very questionable. For me Fergie clearly did not want Owen so why keep him why didn’t he let him join Villa? I am so suspicious of Fergie’s motives that although Owen only requires one more appearance to qualify for a Premiership medal I firmly believe he will not get one. As I do not believe Fergie would allow that one appearance even if the title is all sewn up by the Blackpool match such is Fergie’s animosity towards Owen.

    • Zayd says:

      Not sure I agree regarding Fergusons motives. I think Owen has simply been too injury prone for him to be considered often. Particularly with the pitch at wembley causing problems before I think one needs to be selective about how to play him.

  9. Denise Williams says:

    Zayd I fully accept that you have to be selective in how to use Owen but Fergie is not being selective is he? He is completely excluding him. He never considers him for a starting place and only ever brings him on if one of the other strikers is unavailable. Fergie also will not even include Owen in the squad for Champions League games. Fergie has not been fair with Owen at all he clearly does not want him yet he has not even had the decency to tell him so. Bearing in mind that Owen has been a total professional since he has been at United surely he deserves that courtesy.

    • Zayd says:

      Indeed, but at the same time one has to weigh up the risks and also who is ahead in the line up right now, Hernandez Rooney and Berbatov. Unfortunately, as ferguson says, team selection has no room for sympathy, he needs to select his strongest squad and while Owen probably deserved more chances particularly last year, at the moment we can’t see him getting in the side ahead of the others.