Clint Eastwood is grumbling across our cinema screens at the moment drawling “get off my lawn” in the slightly overrated Gran Torino. Here at Old Trafford this slightly overrated Manchester United team served up a helping of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The good came in the fairly ugly shape of Wayne Rooney (my favourite player, but George Clooney he ain't), who’s second goal in his second game back is fantastic news all around. Ronaldo’s impudent free-kick to win the match was the equal of any I have seen, Robinson did not even have the chance to move.
But it is the bad news of reality that hangs around after this result. We should not be up in arms about finally conceding a goal, whilst Ferdinand was a little lax in defending at the time, one should take their hat off to the assured manner of Santa Cruz’s finish, he is a helluva player when he wants to be. The defence was not shielded as it should have been in the build up play and I think we can expect Fletcher to start against Inter midweek to guard against this sort of thing happening again.
It was the difference in the defence after Vidic was brought on in the second half that really stood out. This was a well-organised and aggressive Blackburn team, and in that sense, almost perfect preparation for the Serie A leaders. We were forced to defend right into the last minute of injury time and it was Vidic’s two vital clearing headers in the dying seconds that really highlighted how much we are going to miss this guy in the next game.
United played a slightly scrappy game today, for all of Ronaldo’s wonderfulness he does give the ball away an awful lot, I thought to myself in the first half. He, of course, shut me up very effectively by scoring that free kick but an inordinate number of our passes went astray in this game and our delivery into the box left a lot to be desired too. We will need to be considerably better on Tuesday to get a result against Mourinho’s men, or we too could face the kind of noble, yet needless and contrived end Eastwood’s character meets in this season’s European Cup.