A brave effort and the hangover of the loss is long gone.
The scoreline might suggest a very close battle, but in truth it was quite on the contrary.
The Red Devils played exceptionally at times and mediocre on some occasions.
Overall, the result should calm the nerves that were starting to set in after the slip-up against West Ham.
Kuszczak (GK) - Didn't have to do much in this game, except for a free-kick that he had to save without any fuzz.
O’Shea - A solid performance. Whenever he got forward he looked menacing. Not because of his crosses, but because he cuts into the box and waits for a cross to come in from a winger.
Ferdinand (C) - The kind of performance you want a captain to have week in and week out. No mistakes in the back, in control of everything that was thrown at him. At times, he looked so comfortable on the ball that he seemed to want to get involved on the other end of the pitch.
Vidic - Excellent. Put in the tackles when required and kept the offense at bay. Didn't keep a foot wrong all game long.
Evra - Brilliant. This lad is so consistent I don't see any other left-back at this point in the EPL. Performs in every game he has played. He was menacing in attack caused havoc for the Birmingham defenders and also got back to defend when required.
Park - Never did I feel throughout the match that this lad was out for nine months and had only had 30 minutes of match fitness going into the game. He looked like he's been playing all season long. He was very active and kept the defenders running around. His positioning was excellent, and with a few more games under his belt, I'm sure he will be among the goal scorers soon.
Carrick - Moderate performance. He kept the midfield together when United attacked, and played some brillant balls into the box. He turned the ball over quite regularly but compensated for it by winning it back.
Anderson - Actively involved and had a great game. He seemed to be everywhere on the pitch. He defended—and the next minute he was in the box ready to pounce on a opportunity. Great game from him today.
Nani - Looked very menacing, but played many wayward balls into the box. He seemed like he is lacking match fitness. He was giving up the ball too easily. On the offensive end he looked very sharp and snapped a couple of shots which looked mighty close to going in.
Ronaldo - Brilliant performance. Unfortunately, he couldn't get on the scoresheet, but he had many shots on target and always looked to pounce on opportunities to score. Had a brilliant assist which led to Tevez scoring. Had a header blocked by Taylor.
Tevez - Lively as always, and scored the only goal of the game. He looked in great shape and was unlucky to not score more. Hit the post twice and was excellent on the ball. He kept dodging tackles and caused a lot of trouble for the defenders with his movement on and off the ball. *Man of the Match*
Saha - Gave the ball away too easily, and seemed slow in his movement off the ball. Mainly came in because Carlos Tevez took a knock on his ankle.
Hargreaves - Played a solid 15 minutes, put in a few tackles, and ran with the ball around the pitch.
Brown - Came on for 5 minutes to make sure we kept the lead.
Overall - The performance didn't spell vintage Manchester United, but it got the three points. The scoreline doesn't really reflect the way this team played—Man U really should have won this match by at least two goals.
A good way to start off 2008—and I'm sure this is the first of many victories to come.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!