Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What a bore!

Evra said it, didn't he? Mourinho went to Old Trafford looking for a draw.

How else would you explain the line-up, without a recognised striker? How else would you explain the way Chelsea played?

OK. So he may have been hoping to snatch a win from counterattacks. But, it was obvious that he didn't mind the draw, so he set his tactics that way.

I was looking forward to the game. It was the first big match-up this season. Two of the big boys going up against each other. The way Chelsea played took the joy out of the match for me.

It was sad that we couldn't break down the Chelsea defence though. But, overall, I think the team played well. The MU defence played well and were very disciplined. De Gea was hardly tested. Evra did well going forward as well, though Jones was average in this aspect.

Carrick and Cleverley played well too, as did Valencia, who is looking more like his old self this season, though still lacking a bit. On the opposite wing, however, Welbeck was a disappointment. I think he was the weakest link in the entire team.

Up front, RVP was having one of his off-days, by his spectacular standards. Rooney didn't have a fantastic first half, but really came into it in the second. United's best performer of the night, with some good shots and great passes, especially in the second 45.

Giggs and Young were OK, but didn't really have too much impact.

There has been some debate about whether MU should have had penalties. Some are saying they should have had one or two, some agree with referee Atkinson's decision not to award any. I think there should have been one, going by current standards of refereeing.

Let me explain. When the ball struck Lampard's hand, those who say Atkinson was right in not awarding a penalty say the Chelsea midfielder had no chance to avoid the shot. But, we have all seen penalties or free kicks given for less.

One thing people forget is that going by current standards, the foul should have been awarded as Lampard's hand was not by his side. It was stretched out. Yes, he had no chance of avoiding a ball struck with that amount of ferocity, at that short a distance. But, his hand/arm should not have been out there in the first place.

Atkinson's performance as a referee on the night was worth maybe an average three stars out of five. He did well in most areas, letting the game run and making several good calls, most notably the other penalty shout by the MU players and Old Trafford faithful when there was a handball earlier on in the match, which he waved away.

He started well, too, when he only gave a warning to Cole for the late tackle on Cleverley. So early on in the game, a yellow card would have spoiled it. But I think he made a mistake when he did not flash the card on Valencia for that studs up challenge (on I forget who) later on. He only gave Valencia a warning, and quite a few people vilified him for that.

Now, while I agree Valencia should have been carded, I don't think Atkinson should be taken to task for not doing it. I believe Atkinson merely thought that since he had only given Cole a warning, Valencia should be given the same consideration. A mistake, I believe, but not one he should be vilified for.

I also believe he made a mistake in not giving Cole a card when he went down in the penalty area looking for a penalty. That was a clear dive. If there was any contact, it occurred well before that. The England defender definitely should have been booked for that.

Anyway, what's done is done. Let's just bring on Super Sunday at Anfield and show the Reds that the Red Devils are better. YNWA? Sure. Cause you'll be walking with the other 18 losers!

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