When United are in trouble, they sometimes turn to the old heads to turn around the situation, and this is exactly what happened today as they faced a resilient Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. It took two magical moments from the legendary Welsh Wizard, Ryan Giggs, to secure the 3 points after a hard fought match, even if Stoke did not trouble the backline and Foster, but did prevent the likes of Rooney and Berbatov from attacking Sorensen’s goal for a long period.
For 55 minutes, the game was almost boring, with United seeing plenty of possession, but failing to really trouble Stoke’s defense and keeper Sorensen. Nani was in a pitiful state as he failed to deal with simple passes, and was even engaged in a discussion with Rooney in the first half, he is wasting the opportunity given to him after Ronaldo’s exit, and may soon find himself sidelined or even out of the club. Rooney was almost anonymous, while Berbatov was trying to create spaces, but ineffectively in the end. Valencia may be had the most open chance to score in the 1st half as he beat the defense with his speed and power, but shot wide after having Sorensen stranded.
Giggs was eventually brought on for Nani on 55th minute, and what an impact he made. His first touch gifted a goal to Berbatov on 62nd minute, as he collected a through pass from Fletcher, and fed the ball to Berbatov who only had to slot home past the helpless Sorensen. While in all matches it is the scorer who is celebrated by his team-mates, in this case today it was Ryan Giggs who was mobbed by United players, and Berbatov himself, showing their gratitude to him as they had fought for so long before scoring.
His second decisive pass came from a freekick on 76th minute, as he crossed the ball into the box, and O’Shea headed home the second, and yet again they went to mob Giggs as he claimed his 2nd assist of the day, following his 3 assists in the Manchester derby last weekend. The Welsh Wizard seems to be rejuvenated, and if he gives performances like this in coming games, Nani is sure to watch yet another season fly by from the bench, unless he takes lessons from Giggs 😛
Other results from the Big 4:
Liverpool thrashed Hull at Anfield at the same time as United played, 6-1 the score, with Torres netting a hat-trick, Babel a double, and a goal from Gerrard, while elsewhere, Wigan managed to make Chelsea break for the first time this season, 3-1 the score, Bramble, Rodallega and Scharner scorers for the Lactics, while Drogba scored the consolation, which in fact was an equalizer for 1-1 before Chelsea lost Cech after he was sent off, and finally down to 9-men as Cole limped out injured with all subs done. Arsenal managed a win in the last kickoff of today, Van Persie the scorer as the Gunners win against Fulham, and full credits to Arsenal’s young keeper Mannone who produced a string of brilliant saves to keep out Fulham’s strikers at bay, although being injured after a first contact with Gallas, then with Fulham’s Dempsey while saving a corner kick.