Ouch. I have barely been able to leave the house for two days. Going to work has been unavoidable and extremely unpleasant. This is not the first time United have been beaten by a large score since I have been watching, not even the first time we’ve been handsomely beaten by City, but for some reason I have been feeling this more than the others. But then again, it is entirely possible I might be oversensitive in the immediate aftermath of such a freak result.
Before another word is written I must offer my wholehearted congratulations to City, their fans and players for a terrific performance. They are a classy side and were deserved victors on the day.
However, much as this result will be embedded of the psyche of every fan for generations to come, it is not, not quite, the end of the world. It isn’t even the end of the season.
In recent years United have conceded five to Newcastle, six to Southampton and even five to Chelsea and still gone on to win the league. Only a fool would say that City are anything less than favourites for the title now, but there is still a long way to go. Good thing too, because our team is far from the finished article.
Manchester City have had the luxury of buying players who are at the top of their profession and exhibit the kind of experience needed at the highest level. In Aguero and Silva they field two of the best players in the league and both were signings that represented little risk.
United on the other hand are going with youth. There are no excuses to be made after a defeat such as this, but the fact that six of our starting eleven were under-25 was telling. To concede three goals after the ninetieth minute smacks of naivety and it was that which gave the score-line such a dreadful slant.
The thing that hurt the most, I suppose, is seeing a United team go so totally to pieces. I am proud of the players for continuing to go for it and attack, even when down to ten men with time running out, but they still capitulated meekly.
If it has taken me this long to start stringing sentences together again I can only imagine how ghastly the players must feel. In the meantime we have a peculiar fixture against Aldershot Town in the Carling Cup to play. It could be the perfect fillip to pick up all our moods. It is important that we move on, together, and quickly.
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