“What I can’t understand is the linesman’s directly in front of it. He has no-one near him and he gets it wrong. A game of that magnitude, you really need quality officials and we didn’t get them today. It was a poor, poor performance.”
Come on Alex. I know you are not the biggest fan of match officials but even you could see that United were poor. Firstly, if he is making that comment in reference to Didier Drogba’s goal, then I hope that he is also including his own team’s goal as well. After all, while Drogba’s was a yard offside, Macheda’s ‘finish’ most certainly came off the youngsters arm.
Secondly, Ferguson must look to his own team and ask the questions. After gaining a reputation as last minute goal specialists, United seemed to have nothing after Macheda’s goal. While I sat there expecting the traditional Old Trafford bombardment of the opposition goal, I was given one feeble attempt by Dimitar Berbatov and a number of crosses sailing off the pitch from Gary Neville and Nani.
Have United become more reliant on Rooney than they were on Ronaldo? It is a possibility. Wayne Rooney has been outstanding and his absence really showed at Old Trafford. Even so, a team like Manchester United should be able to do without one player. The reality was, they couldn’t. In the first half Chelsea were by far the better team and could easily have gone in at half-time two or three goals up. Naturally the second half was a cagier affair. Ancelotti’s Italian instinct kicked in a Chelsea seemed happy to take a 1-0 win, a win that they never looked in danger of losing such was the lack of creativity from United. Paul Scholes, arguably the biggest culprit in the United side, was poor. His passing was erratic and he seemed more intent on confirming his inability to tackle than power United forward. His fellow ‘veteran’ Ryan Giggs suffered a similar fate. He may have even taken a look across at Florent Malouda and remembered the days when he could do similar things. The pace has gone and on Saturday, the creative instinct was also absent.
Ferguson is a man who knows the game well. I really don’t think he can argue that his team deserved any more than they got. Whether it was fatigue or a shock reaction to being without Rooney, United did not look like the same team that dismantled AC Milan a few weeks ago. In fact, United’s performance on Saturday was reminiscent of that Milan side. Ageing, lethargic and without inspiration. Bayern Munich in the Champions League will not be the walkover many are anticipating. One person I do feel sorry for is Michael Carrick. Arguably one of the best passer’s of a ball in the country, Carrick was not even used by Sir Alex and was left to watch pass after pass go AWOL. It will interesting to see what team lines up at Old Trafford this evening. I’ve got a feeling, there’s going to be fireworks!