The gods were certainly smiling on Manchester United in Sunday’s North West derby with Liverpool. Typically slow starters, Manchester United have hardly set the world alight with their displays this season but the performance on Sunday represented an early season nadir. Liverpool fans meanwhile, will come to this morning, feeling as if they have just had a huge drunken argument with the love of their life.
While Liverpool played neat, incisive football to heap pressure on the Manchester club, United themselves could hardly string three passes together throughout the first half. It would be slightly unfair to point the finger at any one United player. But so what? Nani was unbelievably bad. Time and again he wasted the ball in advanced areas, over complicating things when the simple pass was on and defending abysmally. Time and again he put his team under pressure by squandering the rare possession that United had. He was astonishingly awful in the first 45.
Even after Jonjo Shelvey was sent off, Liverpool managed to take the lead, such was the collective lack of focus from The Red Devils. While many pundits thought that the ref Mark Halsey had a decent game we still think that, fairly or not, all the major decisions went United’s way on the day.
Both teams will probably want to forget the game and move on then. Liverpool will take heart from a really spirited performance, while United will simply hope that their star player Wayne Rooney will be back and firing before long. His return can’t come quickly enough for Manchester United.
Rooney is truly a talisman for United. RVP is a great finisher but Rooney is a great all round player. The Dutchman needs service otherwise he becomes peripheral in a game. Rooney is the perfect link man between the midfield and attack and this is exactly what United seem to be missing in the formative stages of this season.
Only when the £30m man returns will we get a full picture of United’s true potential this season. Liverpool meanwhile, can take many positives from an emotional day but will be left licking their wounds until the next round of fixtures.
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