Back to winning ways at the Reebok after the international break, and if we were to think that our lot would show signs of fatigue, we’d be very much mistaken.
The reds continued as they’d finished on Bank Holiday Sunday, and once again we were going to be treated to a goal fest. A Rooney hat trick, and a Hernandez brace saw us smash Bolton 5-0, in a fixture that hasn’t been the easiest in recent times.
The downside to the victory was the injury to Tom Cleverley after only eight minutes. At the time of writing, word is that Cleverley might have broken his foot, and he returned to the bench for the second half with his foot in a protective cast. It’s thought he might be out for three months as a result of Kevin Davies’ challenge.
But as well as the victory, there were 5 things that were worth taking away from the game…
Phil Jones is a beast
This guy is immense. We knew that from every match he’s played in this season, but he was tested against Bolton. And he passed with flying colours. He was the victim of a few rash challenges, but he didn’t shirk them. He got up, dusted himself off and had yet another fine game. He’s 19. Only 19. He plays like he’s 29, he doesn’t lose physical battles, and he’s continued to prove to everyone what a slick signing he was by Sir Alex. Two assists from him, and some nifty footwork going forward, he attempted to take on an opponent four times, and did so successfully on each occasion. We’ve signed more than just a centre back – we’ve signed a complete player. We could have 15 fantastic years out of him.
De Gea is number one, and that’s not changing
Despite Fergie’s mind games talking about protection for De Gea, a few of the tabloid chip papers seemed to signal that De Gea would be dropped for this one. He wasn’t, and he grew a bit more. Let’s face it, he’s made mistakes that have given two goals away and the reports and pundit-spiel over that mask the awesome saves that this lad pulls out, and more of these were on show today. The first half stop from Ivan Klasnic was superb. I doubt that there was ever a thought in Fergie’s mind to rest De Gea, but if there was forgetting that idea was a master stroke. If De Gea is going to adapt to the physical demands of the Premiership, he needs to play against the rough and tough boys such as Kevin Davies to progress. He wasn’t hassled much against Bolton to be fair, but another clean sheet and a he’s going to prove to be top drawer.
Our non playing team would also have won today
Lindergaard, Rafael, Vidic, Smalling, Fabio, Valencia, Giggs, Carrick, Park, Berbatov, Welbeck didn’t start yesterday. Brilliant eh? We had fans screaming that we had no strength in depth last season when fringe players would get one game every six weeks. People don’t understand that players need a run, teams need to gel, and that a thrown together side isn’t an indication of what our strength in depth is like. The line up stated above is stronger than most sides in the Premiership. It’s all very reminiscent of 1999, in that not only are we smashing eight goals past teams, not only are we putting five past teams on our travels, not only are we not settling for winning by two goals and shutting up shop….we’ve got two very strong line ups. This could be one of the most exciting seasons at Old Trafford for over a decade.
We are a passing machine.
We made 547 passes against Bolton, and 465 of them were completed. That’s an impressive 85%. We created ten chances in doing so, and three of those passes were assists. Even De Gea contributed, with a fantastic 32 out of 43 balls from him finding a red shirt.
Anderson was our main man here, with 66 out of 78 passes being successful. Rio Ferdinand only mis-placed two out of 56 passes, and then Michael Carrick made 46 passes to a team mate out of 51 attempts. Before anyone jumps on that, 19 of those went forward, 17 of them backwards and 10 of them sideways.
Rooney and Hernandez are still the main partnership up front
With Hernandez making his first start of the season at the expense of the injured Welbeck, it had been a big topic of discussion as to whether or not Chicharito would be a regular in the starting line up this year. Welbeck impressed in the opening three matches and will definitely get a lot of games, but Hernandez roared back in to the team with two clinical finishes, and a performance that makes him untouchable. Rooney is the main man up front, and these two do connect perfectly. Rooney likes playing with Hernandez, and was willing for him to join him on “hatrick row”, showing more disappointment than the Mexican did after missing a sitter of a chance to grab his third. A brilliant spirit between the two, which means they’ll always be effective. That spirit is reminiscent of the days of Cole and Yorke…oh look…back to 1999 again!
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