Sunday, November 25, 2012

Eight Minutes of Heaven: Manchester United 3 - QPR 1

photo by jpockelevia PhotoRee

o So let us get this one straight: Harry Redknapp was able to attend the game, but not able to manage the team on the pitch. Does anyone doubt Harry would have taken charge yesterday if the game hadn't been away at Old Trafford?

o Shaun Derry had to be thanking his lucky stars that Referee Lee Probert was in a giving mood on Saturday. Having been sent off the pitch on his last visit to Old Trafford, Derry was fortunate not to have given away a penalty after bundling over Paul Scholes in the box near the 15 minute mark.

o By the half hour mark, United fans were beginning to ask questions -- like not only where all the goals had gone lately, but where the chances has gone, as well. Thirty minutes in, and Julio Cesar with very little work to do.

o Although Wayne Rooney attempted to turn up the offensive heat, it was QPR who were first to put the ball into the net. Fortunately for United Jamie Mackie, the Rangers' would be scorer, was correctly adjudged to be offside.

o 45 minutes gone and United were scoreless -- again. When was the last time the Red Devils failed to score in five consecutive halves...?

o Shortly after the interval Mackie put the ball in the back of the net again -- this time properly -- for the ninth goal United have leaked this season between minutes 45 and 60. Dead on offense, leaky on defense -- not a good combination. And 1-0 to the other side had suddenly become an all-too-familiar scoreline.

o Ashley Young was utterly useless once again, and Sir Alex didn't even wait for the hour mark to pull him off. His performances of late are almost enough to make us long for the good old days of Nani. Enter Javier Hernandez and Anderson, in the role formerly played by Paul Scholes.

o Hands up for all of you who thought it would be Jonny Evans who broke the goal drought and set the game back to level.... 1,2, 3..... Great job Jonny, and Mr. and Mrs Evans -- you were right!

o So sweet that Fletch hit the net in his Premier League returns for the go ahead score. We've missed that smile for the past year.

o And remember when United were so miserable on corners last season? You know what they say: practice makes perfect.

o After the first two, it shouldn't have come as a surprise when Chicharito added a third goal. After the QPR defense had been softened up for the first 70 minutes, they were unable to cope with the super sub's devastating speed and Anderson's incisive passing.

o It was 82 minutes of ordinariness, and eight minutes of pure, unadulterated footballing heaven that saw the Reds through against QPR. Based on today and much of the season's performances to date it's very difficult to tell what we're seeing: is this a team with a serious -- some might say fatal -- flaw, or instead is it a team with a never-say-die spirit engraved in its very soul...? Only time will tell....

This is farlieonfootie for November 25.

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