Deflated, devastated, angry are just some of the feelings I felt after last night’s defeat to Bayern Munich. I have no complaints whatsoever to the defeat, Bayern were simply the better team on the night and ran out deserved winners. If truth be known, we are lucky to bring Bayern to Old Trafford with the score only at 2-1. What disappointed me is the performance, we were lacklustre and felt Bayern had greater energy.
Well, the big talking point is of course is the injury to Wayne Rooney. As I type, there are rumours circulating Rooney will be out for approximately four to six weeks but as of yet we have had no official confirmation.
We’ll have to wait and see what affect Rooney’s injury has to the remainder of our season. Many have already written off our title challenge suggesting the other forward options are not good enough. Well, this is Dimitar Berbatov’s time to step up – a time for him to repay the faith shown from his supporters and a time for him to prove his doubters wrong. This is a defining moment in Berbatov’s, Manchester United career; win the title for United and he will once and for all silence his critics. The loss of Rooney is of course massive, but I have every faith in Berbatov.
We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect start with Rooney opening the scoring within two minutes. After the goal however we saw a dire performance, our worst performance away in Europe since the defeat to AC Milan in 2007 in my opinion. At times in the first half I couldn’t believe how deep our midfield was, they we virtually on top of our back four which of course left Rooney isolated. Fair play to Rooney, he chased absolutely everything as he normally does.
Van der Sar is probably the only player that can hold his head high after his performance. Edwin was easily United’s man of the match and I dread to think of what the score may have been without his heroics. I felt Gary Neville had a very good first half; I was worried beforehand of the contest between Ribery and Neville and for the majority of the match I felt Neville acquitted himself well… apart from yes, you know it… the stupid handball. I struggle to believe why a man with the experience of Gary Neville would do something so silly. I just knew Bayern would score from the resulting free kick and they did thanks to a lucky deflection of Wayne Rooney.
The less said about Evra’s mistake for the winning goal, the better. I find it hard to be overly critical of Evra, he has been superb all season (alongside Rooney, arguably United’s man of the season) but that was some clanger last night.
I stand by the motto of “you win as a team and you lose as a team” none of this nonsense of blaming individuals no matter how bad an individual mistake is.
We shouldn’t be too disheartened about the result; with an away goal it isn’t the worst result in the world. The performance was the worrying aspect, perform like that at Old Trafford and we can say bye bye to the Champions League for this season. Personally, I don’t think we can perform so badly again but the only way a performance can earned is through hard graft, matching and bettering Bayern’s hard.
A positive to come from last night’s defeat is how poorly Bayern’s defence performed. You have to feel we will create chances at Old Trafford, Bayern however have a goal lead which they will fight for with their lives.
It’s going (hopefully) to be another memorable European night at Old Trafford next Wednesday – it will be buzzing.
Come on United!!!!