Monday, 27 October 2014

Robin brings the house down.

Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1.

Cometh the moment cometh the man. That man being a certain Robin van Persie, a man that some quarters of Manchester United's world wide fan base thought was past his sell by date, at the end of his time at Old Trafford.

Some were even saying that he should be dropped when Wayne Rooney returns from suspension or even off loaded in the January transfer window.

Well, in the 94th minute in this match against Chelsea he answered those naysayers with a sublime left foot finish to rescue a point and send the fans inside the Theatre of Dreams into raptures, and judging by van Persie's team mates joyous reaction they enjoyed it too.

So relief all round that the mentor didn't lose against his pupil. Van Gaal and Mourinho hugged at the start and at the end of a match that quite frankly either team could have won. But I believe a point shared is a fair result. Before the match I think most of us would have been praying for a win but would have taken the point.

van Persie scores in 94th minute
So Robin van Persie brought the house down but a very special mention should go to Marouane Fellaini, who has not enjoyed the easiest of rides at United.

However, after last weeks goal at West Bromwich Albion he looks to have been given a new lease of life and yesterday played by far his best game for the Red Devils.

From Di Maria's free kick it was Fellaini's header towards goal that the Chelsea keeper could only clear into the path of van Persie who did the rest. Fellaini's all round game in the heart of midfield was great to watch as his height was a key factor against the shorter opposition. I sincerely hope that he continues his fine form for the upcoming matches.

Fellaini had his best game
Overall, yesterday's match was a game of tactics which had no winner not only from the teams but also from the managers.

There is obviously a mutual respect between van Gaal and Mourinho which was very clear to see.

Without both being able to pick their first choice strikers, Rooney and Falcao for United and Costa and Remy for Chelsea, striking tactics went out of the window.

There was never going to be a hat full of goals as most of the play was stuck in midfield but as a spectacle I think both teams did well to keep the watching millions happy.

Drogba did his best to keep up his record against United and Eden Hazard proved that he, like Di Maria, is a world class talent. Hazard would have scored when he was clean through on goal if it wasn't for the brilliance once again of David De Gea.

The resulting corner caught United napping and Drogba unfortunately benefitted from that with a header, which van Persie should have done better with on the line.

Great team spirit
Generally, I thought United played well during the match as a unit, and the philosophy of van Gaal is slowly seeping through to the players, at last.

I predict after watching the other teams over the weekend that finishing in the top four, even the top three is a strong probability, but as regards finishing as champions let's judge after another three months.

All credit to the United players for finally keeping going until the end and not letting themselves, the manager and most importantly the fans down.

Now it's onto the Man City match next weekend, which sees the return of captain Rooney and hopefully a fully fit Falcao, who shouldn't have any jet lag, knocks or any other problems that will stop him from giving us the performance that we have been waiting for from him since he came.

It's possible that Mata will be the player dropped to accommodate Rooney's return but I would be tempted to leave Mata in at the expense of Januzaj. This will be another huge match for the reds, so experience is the key.

As regards the midfield, if Herrera is not fit enough to play then Michael Carrick is available after many months absent, but this is a tough decision after Fellaini's recent displays.

Our main worry against Man City will be a certain Aguero against our still shaky defence. All the more reason to buy a quality defensive leader in the January transfer window to alleviate such worries.

West Ham United proved over the weekend that the best way to rattle Man City is to get at their defence, so let's hope our big guns up front will be firing on all cylinders next week. One thing is for sure Rooney will be up for it after his three match suspension.

Until next week thanks for reading my thoughts.

Miles Dunton.