So there we have it. Despite a mistake on David De Gea’s debut and losing both centre backs to injury away at the Hawthorns, the Champions won the game in typical fashion.
The team; De Gea, Smalling, Vidic (Evans 52), Ferdinand (Jones 75), Fabio, Young, Anderson, Cleverley, Rooney, Welbeck (Berbatov 65).
WBA 1-2 MUFC; Long 37’ – Rooney 13’ Reid (og) 81’
What happened during the game?
United started the game with an attacking midfield and they didn’t take long to get off to a flying start. Ashley Young received the ball on the left hand side, passed it to Rooney on the edge of the area, who controlled the ball and fired home with a superb left foot shot within 13 minutes.
The Champions were flying, with a sensational move almost finished by Nani, who blazed over. Nani had another chance after Ben Foster flapped at a corner and Nani again blasted his volley over the bar.
These were chances that MUFC needed to take and later proved as WBA, started to get into the game with the crowd getting behind their team more and more.
Then on 37 minutes, the equaliser arrived in bizarre fashion, summer signing Shane Long received the ball on the far side, cut in and slotted home. Replays later showed that the ball almost went under David De Gea, with the Spaniard again failing to deal with a low shot that should have been saved.
WBA went into the half time interval the better side and almost scored a cross, but the more positive De Gea made a smart save to keep the ball out. MUFC were rattled and needed the half time break.
MUFC were better in the second half as they were standing up to WBA and created chances.
On 52 minutes, Nemanja Vidic failed to run off a knock he suffered earlier on in the match and was substituted worryingly, with Jonny Evans coming on. Sir Alex Ferguson later confirmed, Vidic had suffered a calf injury and was going to be out for two weeks.
Then even more worryingly, Rio Ferdinand was substituted as well on 75 minutes with a hamstring injury, bringing Phil Jones on for his Premier League debut. SAF later confirmed that Rio would be out for six weeks.
The average age of the starting XI was 23.9 years and that was further lowered when Jonny Evans and Phil Jones came on the pitch.
MUFC had chances but nothing clear and tried to find the goal, by bringing on joint top scorer last season, Dimitar Berbatov for Danny Welbeck, who had a decent game. However the Bulgarian couldn’t produce his magic to find the winner.
Then on 81 minutes came the goal. Ashley Young twisting and turning before firing in a low cross across the face of goal, which hit Steven Reid and went into the back of the net. A goal nevertheless and MUFC were delighted.
Tom Cleverley, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young impressed me. Cleverley was very cool on the ball, and was hard working when the opposition had the ball. Wayne Rooney scored the goal and was everywhere as usual, hopefully a sign that a big season for him is coming up. Ashley Young is my man of the match today. He passed the ball to Rooney for the goal and created the winner, which MUFC were desperate for and generally looked lively.
The win came at a cost though with Ferdinand and Vidic both injured during the game and before the game even started, MUFC confirmed that fullback Rafael is out for 10 weeks with a dislocated shoulder. Patrice Evra didn’t play either, but will return next week. MUFC need to improve quickly with Smalling and Jones, possibly playing a crucial part in the up and coming weeks.
Thanks for reading and take care.
Written by Yusuf Khan
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