Just a few weeks ago, this is what I was hearing from Manchester United critics:
"You're a boring 1-0 team."
"You can't score more than one goal a game."
"Rooney and Tevez can't work together."
I think yesterday's performance put an end to all that.
Those who watched the game must have been on the edge of their seats in the opening 14 minutes, as we just did not come out of the blocks.
For some reason, I've never felt comfortable watching United play the late Saturday evening matches and Gabriel Agbonlahor's early strike had me thinking, "I hope it isn't one of those nights."
Thankfully, the goal woke us up, and I began to really feel sorry for Villa: Suddenly, there was a bit more zip in the passing, the midfield seemed to wake up, movement was much much better and there was an end product.
Prior to the Wigan game, it was all about the lack of goals that we were producing after spending blah blah blah amount on attacking players. I think those people are eating their words as I type...
It was always going to take time for players like Tevez, Nani and Anderson to gel into the team and, for the latter two, pace of the Premiership. I thought the partnership between Rooney and Tevez was quality throughout the night, and it was proved right before we got our first goal when a short pass by Scholes was dummied by Tevez, who immediately set off for the return pass that was coming from Rooney.
Anderson's performance in centre midfield, alongside Paul Scholes, was also another highlight in the evening. Is it just me or has everyone realised that nowadays Scholes plays more like a defensive midfieder (even though he can't tackle to save his life)?
The combination of Scholes and Anderson worked like a gem tonight, and had Barry and Reo-Coker scampering around in the middle of the park.
The passing of both midfields was spot on, as it had to be, and this was the reason for many chances created. If it wasn't for the performances of Stuart Taylor, the score could have easily been about 8-1.
On another note, I hope that Rooney does not take penalties, even when Ronaldo is not on the pitch. Fair enough, he took it because he was on a hat trick, but you need a lot more power in the shot if you're gonna score. I've seen Rio take penalties before, and he ain't too shabby, as is Tevez.
Finally, It was great to see Fletcher come back to our midfield. Numbers were getting a bit short in central midfield, so having Fletch back offers us the option of giving Scholesy a rest if needed. So off it is to Russia for the Champions League, lets hope we don't have to play on an artificial pitch, eh?
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