Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Man Utd 0 Chelsea 0

If before the season started someone had offered me seven points from our opening three games I would have bitten their hands off – especially with one of those matches taking place at Old Trafford. Admittedly when seeing the team selection with Schurrle on his own up front the only thing I could do was swear. Luckily, last night demonstrated why Mourinho is a great football manager and sometimes supporters like me need to stick to their day jobs. The two teams negated each other and van Persie seemed to have gone AWOL.

Much of the focus was on Rooney and it was a surprise he started considering the political speculation over him and Chelsea. He worked his posterior off and a tackle on Ramires towards the end of the game typified his performance. It would be great to have him in our side but it is hard to see how he would fit in unless we made some huge sacrifices in our squad. Was Juan Mata really our player of the season for the last two years?

Lampard and Ramires were excellent in midfield and the tracking back as well as defending was pure Mourinho – disciplined to a tee and knowing exactly what one wishes for from a game. Judging by the smiles on some of the Manchester United players’ faces at the end of the game they seemed just as happy with a point. The match was not without incident – poor De Bruyne must have been the first player in history to have been booked for being elbowed in the face.

It was good to hear the banter between the fans too – Chelsea fans chanting Rooney’s name and making certain references to Giggs’ less than salubrious past. Manchester United is a football club that is simply better at sweeping such matters under the carpet than us. Sky commentators seemed to wish for a win for the home side - even predicting Rooney to score for a 1-0 result. To add to the clichés they noted how ironic it would be if the team in red scored in the last minute. Please can we have a choice to not have any Sky commentary whatsoever?

Not an easy fixture list coming up with the Charity Shield for Europe (less the charity part) this Friday where UEFA delegates make the most of a night out in an Eastern European capital. This game cannot be taken seriously and hopefully we use it to experiment with our forward line. Will Willian play? Once this match is out of the way we have a difficult few games. Everton away, Fulham at home (who seem to capitulate to our rivals but step up against us in typical small-minded fashion) followed by Tottenham away.

So focus on the Champions League this week and my dream will come true if Legia Warsaw proceed to the group stages and is drawn against Chelsea. Please may I see Chelsea play a Polish team in a competitive match during my lifetime! So far, so good at Chelsea. Nothing spectacular but step by step we are advancing and playing better as a team.

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