Latest Manchester United News and Results

United 0 Villa 1

At 5pm on Saturday things were good, most notably because Chelsea had let in three goals and dropped two points at home, and also because United’s teamsheet had three defenders on it for the first time in a while. A few hours later, however, United had put on a poor performance and had lost at home to Villa, in turn extending Chelsea’s lead at the top on a day when it should have been cut. United got what they deserved in all fairness, not least because of the revenge Villa had in mind after Macheda’s winner last season. Yes United missed a few good chances, but no one wins at Old Trafford without riding their luck a little, and overall Friedel was only called on to make one save of note. Why Owen came on ahead of Berbatov I don’t know; someone had said to me in Wolfsburg they hoped Owen’s hatrick would not give Fergie false confidence in him and that seems to be exactly what happened. Rooney was fantastic in the first half but after being extremely unluckly with his chance that hit the bar in the first half, he lost his composure and his touch got progressively worse, with him eventually being switched to the left wing.

Credit must go to Villa who made it extremely difficult for United to break down a stubborn and determined defence, but quite simply United were short of ideas and created very little. Everything came through the middle where there was little space, and all culminated in being broken down or unsuccessful long rage shots. If Villa had a decent player in place of Heskey up front the score line could have been even more embaressing- he seemed to fall over at the mere hint of a counter attack.

These things happen and it is only one game, not to mention that we got away with it overall due to the other top placed teams all slippng up too. But the away game at Fulham next week will also be a tricky fixture and dropping points there will be very damaging, especially as we often rely on putting a run together in the period between the group stages of the Champions League ending and the knocks outs starting. Perhaps awful defending at Pompey and West Ham made United’s open play look good at times or perhaps this was just an off day- we will soon find out.

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