Braga vs. Manchester United: 6 Things We Learned

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Braga vs. Manchester United: 6 Things We Learned
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Robin Van Persie Makes his Point

Yet again we learned from this Manchester United performance against Braga that they sometimes just don't listen.

The players' collective ears must have been ringing from a stinging blast by Sir Alex after the Arsenal match. He thought that was a "strange game." Well, that was for public consumption after a bizarre performance where they slaughtered the opposition 2-1.

Non-United supporters could be forgiven for thinking there is an arrogant complacency about United sometimes. Saturday's match was far too easy. Where they would probably have buried Norwich if they had been that bad, the players seemed content to coast through against the Gunners as if it was a training match.

When the manager has banged on so much since before the start of the season that United will never lose the title on goal difference, how is it that they keep sneaking wins where they should be crushing the opposition?

Make no mistake. This United team is a very different proposition to last season. The difference is not just Robin van Persie, but his presence seems without fail to have a galvanising effect, as it did tonight.

The most bizarre effect was seeing players who couldn't string three passes together suddenly pinging them round like a pin table, with a spring in their collective steps. 

For the first 75 minutes or so, United had been a disorganised shambles. The Dutchman's arrival seemed to be like adding cornflour to gravy. Suddenly, it all came together like a cohesive whole with substance.

The players clearly hadn't taken notice of Saturday's probable roasting by the manager. So what did we learn from a performance that in the space of 10 minutes turned from stumbling ineffectiveness to clinical glory?

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