4 Ups and 2 Downs of United’s 2-0 Win Away at PalaceGriffochaz
And breathe. It’s the afternoon after the night before and United fans have had the time to steady their heartbeats. After a nervy start, which seems to be becoming the norm, I along with many were biting their nails and just having flashbacks to Southampton just three days prior.
Even when Rashford kept his cool and slotted home on the stroke of half time, my celebrations were laid backed as I knew a one goal lead wouldn’t be enough. Case in point when Jordan Ayew equalised and everybody’s TV’s were abused by thrown remote controls and despite VAR giving United a much-needed lifeline in disallowing the goal, the nerves were still on edge.
Martial’s second was one of the most important goals of the season and was enough for the three points. Even when 11 minutes were added on, I was confident that United would take it over the line.
At this point in the season, it’s not how you win, it’s just about winning and that’s what United did. The game wasn’t the most spectacular but I’m sure all United fans don’t care how they won it. Let’s dive into this match and give it it’s necessary ups and downs.
DOWN – ANOTHER SLOW START!
Another performance and another slow and lethargic start. Against Aston Villa, it took until the first drinks break for United to turn up and even then, it took a very weak penalty to do so. Against Southampton, we had to wait until Stuart Armstrong netted the opener for United to respond with two quick goals before the drinks break. Yesterday, it took almost a whole half for United to take the lead.
United were very fortunate that Palace hadn’t scored before then because it they netted first then a direct repeat of Monday would have been on our hands. Ole needs to get these players performing quickly otherwise United will get punished.
Say United grabbed an early goal or two, then they would have the chance to rest players for the Sunday cup semi final against Chelsea. That is the importance in being quick out of the starting blocks that ‘The Red Devils’ have failed to do in the previous few games.
DOWN – SIDEWAYS SIESTA
I’m not saying there were many sideway passes, but if I had a Great British Pound every time the ball went sideways of backwards when it could have gone forwards then I would be sat writing this article in an olympic sized swimming pool in my billion-pound mansion.
At the end of the day, we didn’t need to go and risk it all and beat them five or six nil but to have a laid-back negative style after seeing what we have over the past month is disappointing. It was a risky play that paid off but let’s hope we don’t see more of that in the near future.
UP – FOSU MESSIAH RISES
When the clock hit 19:15 and every United fan fired up Twitter to see the team news, many expected to either see a doubtful Luke Shaw or Brandon Williams at left back or at most see Diogo Dalot filling in for the Englishmen. Picture the surprise on my face when I see Timothy Fosu Mensah’s name in that full back position.
If I didn’t create the United Squad Quiz, I wouldn’t of even knew TFM was still at the club. Starting the first game since May 2017, Fosu Mensah didn’t set the world alight but he did put in a solid performance all things considered. Yes, this may be a weak down but I’m all for players coming back into the picture and putting in a shift. Hats off to Timothy.
UP – COLE AND YORKE REBORN
I recognise the magnitude of that statement but we’re going with it. I’m sure I don’t need to explain the quality of the partnership between Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke in 98 through to 01. The connection those two had was undeniable and unstoppable. I’m beginning to see those sorts of connections with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Just like Cole and Yorke, the United pair are also guaranteed to get a goal or two when the team play well and even when one doesn’t score, the other one puts goals away usually from the other’s assist.
Let’s not get too carried away but Rashford and Martial’s connection on and off the pitch is something for United fans to hold onto and the more they play the better those two will be together.
UP – HE’S THE NE-MAN-JA
Another controversial statement but in one sense of the word, Nemanja Matic is the best player at Man United. I personally would use the word useful and critical instead of best.
Man United played poorly up until the 63rd minute. Nemanja Matic replaced Scott Mctominay, whose performance wasn’t enough to warrant either an up or down, in the 63rd minute. Without Matic in the team the attack seems disjointed and doesn’t flow as normal but when the Serbian is on the pitch, Pogba and Bruno creative more and can supply Martial, Rashford and Greenwood with more chances. He makes the biggest difference out of anyone and is crucial to United’s style of play without doubt. Who would of thought we’d be saying this in 2020?
UP – DE GEA SHOWS HIS CLASS
Martial and Rashford played well but my Man of the Match would be David De Gea.
De Gea has had a lot of stick recently after a few errors leading to big goals conceded and has also been on the receiving end of some United fan hate due to these errors. Yesterday was a class performance and let me educate you as to why. A goalkeeper won’t win you a game, but he will stop you losing one and that is what David De Gea did. At 0-0 he had to make a few cracking saves to keep United in the game and even at one and two nil, he was still preserving his clean sheet with some fantastic stops. Zaha, Ayew, Townsend and Milivojevic all had chances that forced David into some lovely saves. We criticise him when he does poorly so we should praise him when he does well.
A lot of players performances weren’t enough for either an up or a down and despite getting the dub, there wasn’t too much to write home about. The W is all that matters, and we move to Chelsea in the FA Cup Semi Final before hosting West Ham in a Premier League clash that could determine our Top 4 fate.
What did you think of the performance? Leave your thoughts below.
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