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West Ham 1-0 Man Utd

At 3.30pm on a Sunday afternoon things looked good. Chelsea were being played off the park at Goodison having scraped a win midweek, and United were set to open up an eight point gap at the top of the table. Spirits were high in the concourse at Upton Park as thousands of Reds gathered under the stands to watch Chelsea’s poor performance come to an end.

However, two Chelsea wonder-goals later and there was almost silence in the same concourse. There was an eerie atmosphere developing as heads dropped and the United support fell quiet. Typical Chelsea, to play so badly and still win, somehow. That was the sign of a team that would finish as champions we all thought, but nobody said it.

Attention quickly turned to United match, which kicked off fifteen minutes later. But it seemed as if the players must have watched the Chelsea game too, as their body language showed the same pain as ours. United simply did not show up, the passing was not fluent, the chances did not come and the body language was all wrong. Perhaps it was time we slipped up, perhaps it was time that a chance as good as Ryan Giggs’ was missed, or perhaps it was our own doing. Wayne Rooney should not have been shopping in New York all week- jetlag affects everyone including the boy wonder and it showed.

As for the United support, it was pretty terrible too. This was not a day for United to be proud, not on nor off the pitch. Minimal noise coming out of the away section, an idiot in an England cap and Gretna jacket (aren’t they Scottish?!!) laying in to other Reds, and a team that did not show signs of being able to pass a ball, let alone win a league title.

However, perspective is definitely needed. As I write this it almost feels as if the title challenge is over. Yet we are still top, still in control and this was only one match. Just as we bounced back from other defeats this season, mainly in the cups, there is no reason we cannot go to a sliding Villa team next week and win again. Then there are two home games which are winnable and the wagon will be rolling again. This is of course a bad day for our title hopes, as an eight point gap suddenly turned into two, but we are not even half way through the season yet and there are plenty of twists and turns still to come.

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