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Man Utd 3-0 Portsmouth

United are a schizophrenic team this season, switching between fast exciting football and a dire long ball game. Just like the last two league games, and unlike the midweek European fixture in Copenhagen, this was a great example of the more impressive style. United came out against Portsmouth determined to erase any memories of the midweek shambles and remove any doubt that the good run may be over. It took just ten minutes before Rooney had earned a pen, duly converted by Saha, and Ronaldo had put in a magnificent free kick. The game was effectively over in ten minutes, and 80 minutes of showboating and wonderful football followed.

It makes a big difference when a manager is able to pick his first choice team, and that meant United having width from the start of the game. Giggs had a poor game but still terrified the away team. Ronaldo had space on the other wing, whilst Carrick had a better game than midweek. But the biggest difference was the return of Paul Scholes, who controlled the game and tormented Portsmouth. It is a mystery how it was only 3-0, there could have been many more both before and after Vidic added the third.

United have not had the same manager for 20 years. Celebrations were muted for several reasons, predominantly though that our fans are always muted and the hardcore have also taken offence at recent comments made by the manager, despite his on pitch record. Whatever the politics, his success as a manager is undoubted, especially when you look at where the club was 20 years ago and where the teams then in the first division are now. A standing ovation was called for and even the south stand managed it, sort of.

So, with Chelsea losing at Spurs on Sunday, United now have a lead at the top again. It has been a great start to the season and United’s next home game is against Chelsea. Things are hotting up…

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