Like a particularly plump man who was invited to dinner by Hannibal Lector, I had feared the worst about this fixture. Looking at recent form a massacre wouldn’t have been entirely unexpected. But I had a feeling that if we actually had a go and went for it we had a chance. So it proved to be. This was not the most attacking formation Ferguson has fielded in his 23 years at United, however, it was one with intent.
Anderson finally got the start we all know he deserves in a big game and Nani found his rightful spot outside of the starting eleven. The game with Liverpool taught us, if nothing else, that Scholes and Giggs on from the off leaves us short in midfield, so Giggsie’s superior form got him in.
Frankly, we needed five in midfield because we knew they were going to be playing this bloody diamond everybody keeps raving about, so I was happy not to see the “4-4-2 goals-for-you” we produced at Anfield.
So a good performance by United that merited more than we got from it. If the players were guilty of anything, it was in underestimating the skulduggery endemic in the Chelsea ranks. Ballack always looks to me like the kind of sleazy lawyer who ensures that rapists and arms dealers walk free from court, Drogba on the other hand may well be a direct descendant of the inventors of ballet. Do you have any proof to the contrary? I thought not.
Don’t get me wrong. I respect Chelsea as a unit and a team. And as individual players Drogba, Ballack and Lampard are magnificent. It’s just I am not an avid subscriber to Frank TV, that’s all.
Fergie, as is his wont, delicately pointed out that referee may have erred slightly in awarding the goal. He has a Sam Allardyce-sized point, but that’s not really why we lost. We were just unlucky and thems the breaks sometimes.
I have left Stamford Bridge seething in my time. This doesn’t feel so bad. It barely feels like a defeat. We still have a lot of season to go yet and we have proven we can give everybody’s favourites a game. The level of performance particularly pleases me when we had three regular starters out of the side. Besides, let’s face it, it’s nowhere near as bad as slipping over when facing the decisive kick in a European Cup final. Is it John?