Both sides had their chances with a lot of end-to-end play but it was United who eventually took control of the match with the first goal. My Man of the Match for tonight’s game was maybe not someone who I anticipated to be writing about in the first few games when I first decided to do this feature.
With the hour mark having just passed both sides were looking to gain the advantage with the first goal. Tom Cleverley’s finely delivered cross was headed past the so-far solid Friedel in the Tottenham goal by Danny Welbeck, who had broke away from his marker and leaped high to reach the cross.
With Alex Ferguson going into the start of the new season with almost too many strikers at his disposal there was going to be a fair bit of deliberation to be done regarding the hierarchy of his firing line. With Hernandez not managing to reach full fitness for the season kickoff United would be starting the season with a different partner for Rooney. The obvious choice would have been Berbatov, the man who was challenging Hernandez for first team football last season. However the Bulgarian had to settle for his familiar place on the bench as, my Man of the Match, Danny Welbeck was given the chance to prove himself.
Having bagged a goal, Welbeck put his side ahead and broke the deadlock. His goal was much deserved following a lively first hour in which he pressed forward and worked hard, just as he did in the Community Shield clash and in the first Premier League game.
Welbeck’s pace and quick feet saw him skipping past challenges from Tottenham defenders and stretching the opposition’s back line allowing his team mates to find space in the attacking third. When running forward Welbeck looked for opportunities to play the ball into his supporting attackers, moving into space as soon as he did offload the ball. Even when the simple pass wasn’t available Welbeck’s skill and footwork would often allow him to carry on past defenders or hold the ball up until the chance to move the ball on arose.
Welbeck continued to show confidence as he enjoyed his new role in the United attack, attempting an overhead kick forcing a save from Brad Friedel.
The youngster’s clever feet and his want to bring his team mates into play was evident in the second goal. Young tore away down the wing before giving the ball to Rooney who slipped it to Anderson. Welbeck’s delicately timed run, staying onside, was spotted by Anderson slipping the ball into Welbeck’s path. Whilst a shot was expected from Welbeck, this would have been the wasteful option as his sight of goal was blocked from a sliding defender, instead the young England striker flicked the ball back to Anderson giving him a clear scoring opportunity which he took well. Welbeck’s intelligence, quick play and selflessness created a well worked goal.
Danny Welbeck has snatched his opportunity to start the season alongside Rooney right up. His pace on the ball adds to the fast attacking tempo at United whilst having intelligent feet to keep the ball against defenders. He created goal scoring chances by looking to bring his team mates into play and immediately putting himself in a good position to receive the ball back. With more performances like this Welbeck may be a contender for a starting spot even within a fully fit team.