A very Clever (ley) performanceBy: Ian | October 8th, 2012
Utd went into their away performance against Newcastle yesterday a massive seven points behind leaders Chelsea. This yawning chasm, which speaks of an irreversible crisis inside Old Trafford that the ever-reliable and completely unopinionated media have picked up on for our benefit, needed to be addressed some before another bloody international break (where the only question for me is how many goals Wales will lose by – lets guess below in the comments!). And Utd did the business in some style.
Memories from Utd’s 3-0 defeat to Newcastle from last season, and their current strong squad, didn’t really send out the message that this match would be comfortable. But Utd, bucking the recent trend, started like a train with a nuclear missile jammed in its boiler. An early interchange upfront involving Cleverley, RVP and Evans led to Welbeck being fed through and the striker displaying his usual clinical style by shooting tamely (play Chicharito – end of discussion). Another change led to a corner, whipped in by Van Persie, and finding the head of Evans, who powered home his header well. Welbeck then kept everyone entertained by robbing a slow Harper, the goalkeeper struggling to regain control, and Welbeck missing the open goal and the player across from him (play Chicharito – have I mentioned this?). Then the corner trick was repeated again, achieved through the parry of a Rooney free kick, with the brilliant Wazza flicking in the corner for the 3ft 2in form of Evra to head in for his first goal in…some time. 15 mins gone and 2-0 away, without conceding first. All was good.
The yellow cards then started to come out as the physical side of the game came to the fore, with the culmination being a BAFTA/Emmy/Academy award going to Tiote for a challenge he thought was fine. Words do not do it justice, it needs to be seen. Fantastic stuff. The other talking point was Evra pulling Cisse’s shirt in the box for a close-to-half-time penalty appeal. Could well have been given…..
We then had another bit of evidence for the goalline technology mob as Ba headed over a flapping De Gea with the rebound being dealt with by Cisse. The ball was stopped on the line, I think good call by the assistant, but a quick check of the TV wouldn’t have been such a problem would it. Save a lot of aggro. Newcastle then rallied a little with a few more chances, Ben Arfa’s magic just not really working for him that afternoon. Van Persie continued his run of scoring by putting in an offside goal soon after.
On 71 minutes, the ball came to Cleverley on the far left. He looked up, saw Van Persie, sailed in the cross which curled right into the top corner for a magnificent finish. He says he meant it as a shot, yeah whatever. I believe him when he says he aimed for that general area, i.e. if it missed a heading chance then maybe it had a chance of going in perhaps, but not that he meant the whole look-up-and-top-corner-finish approach. Doesn’t really matter, fine goal and a nice cherry to go on top of a rather nice cake for the afternoon.
Scholes, introduced to a facial expression not usually seen upon him (one of wide eyed surprise/excitement or something -get the Mona Lisa guys on it) and Giggs grabbed their zimmer frames for a short cameo towards the end. Another appearance for Giggs and Scholes was nothing if not predictable, 10 minutes proving more than enough time for him to put in a trademark late challenge and receipt of his first yellow since he last played.
Overall, best performance so far. Very comfortable and the tricky Newcastle were nullified well and hardly looked a threat in what was on paper a difficult away fixture. So, well navigated, and second in the table going into the international break. Have to wait until the 20th October now for the visit of Stoke City. Shame.
Comments below. A message too: if you can spread the good word of this blog in any way, I believe there is something called social media, it would be much appreciated. I get no viewing figures anymore, so the only gauge I have is comments, but it would be nice to know readership is up. Not an order, just a polite request. Over and out until the internationals are done. Back soon, Utd fans!