Piccadilly rail station, 10.25 AM and it is deserted as the Euston bound trains were going out to Stoke for this game. I have never seen this arterial train station so quiet. Gradually some hungover reds turned up. They were saying variants of goodness gracious* as for the second time in a week, they’d had an early kick off imposed on them by the whims of live TV. However, compared to getting to Tottenham for a midday kick off, this was a doddle.
Ryan Shawcross losing Phil Jones in the 2nd minute. Seconds later, he put Stoke 1-0 in front
It was a nervous United side that had started the game but not only was it a nervous performance, the night as a whole had a feel of everybody going through the motions. In the 21st minute, from an Ander Herrera cross, Marouane Fellaini scored the type of goal he was renowned for at Everton, to give United the lead. The reception the goal garnered was nearly as rapturous as the injury time equaliser Robin van Persie scored against Chelsea five weeks ago. I wonder how many people who cheered that goal were ironically cheering Fellaini’s every touch in the pre season friendly against Valencia at Old Trafford and I also wonder if those same people can look at themselves in the mirror, come the morning.
Another confused performance from United brought a 0-0 draw against Burnley. United had plenty of possession and, with the likes of Juan Mata, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and new signing ÁngelDi María on the pitch, should have posed a better goalscoring threat.
Dave Jones hits the bar with David de Gea well beaten in the 3rd minute
Consensus amongst Reds on the quiet was that there would be disappointment if United didn’t make a decent dent into City’s superior goal difference today. Last season, United put seven goals past a better Blackburn side that took to the pitch for this match. Before today’s match, Blackburn had won two league games all season although they had gone to Anfield on Boxing Day and surprised everybody by getting a draw there, everybody, Blackburn Rovers fans included, were expecting a comfortable win for United. After a busy but flat footed start from United, Blackburn’s first attack yielded a penalty when Dimitar Berbatov pulled Christopher Samba over, just inside the United area, on sixteen minutes, to help referee Mike Dean, make probably the only correct decision he made all day. Mike Dean had a stinker of a game, denying United a blatant penalty about five minutes later, when Evra was tripped up in the Blackburn box on an overlapping run and constantly allowing Blackburn goalkeeper, Mark Bunn, to waste time on goal kicks after Blackburn had scored. The fact that Blackburn were wasting time in the first half is a good guide to the mentality of this backward club. Continue reading Rovers Return To Win At Old Trafford. Manchester, 31st Of December 2011