Opponents are a little bit like carpets. If you (p)lay them right the first time, you can walk all over them for years. Porto must still be reeling from that 4-0 tonking we gave them in '97 because they were in a very strong position going into this match.
Despite United being wobblier than that rope bridge from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in recent weeks. Porto still couldn’t dominate. United controlled this match and for once, we have a performance as satisfying as the result. We also have a clean sheet for a change. Geronimo.
It makes a refreshing change to sit at the keyboard with a few positives to dwell on rather than attempting to hide the dread I have genuinely felt over the last few weeks. I do not know if we are or out of the woods yet, but the team’s display certainly calms the nerves a little.
I am extremely pleased to see Anderson back. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to the little dynamo who bossed the game at Arsenal in November 2007. Perhaps he did not own the pitch in Oporto but he made his presence felt. Those are exactly the kind of fresh legs we will need in the run in. This was a good match for him as he understands what makes all of those South American opponents of him tick and he did break up a lot of their attacks.
Then of course, we have Mr. Ronaldo to mention. He really seems to turn it on when we have Portuguese opposition. That goal was an advanced example of what quality footballers can do. Bobby Charlton would have blushed.
The thing that makes me happiest right now is Porto’s inability to even get near our goal. This means two things. The defence played well (welcome back Rio) and the midfield played well. VDS does still look a little permeable at times but the guys in front of him have started to do their jobs again.
Enjoy this moment of calm, it surely won’t last. United always, always make us suffer and there will be heart attacks again before the end of the season. Mark my words. For once though, we have had a better week than Liverpool. And that’ll do nicely.