United’s great escape

Young awarded penalty after foul by Brown

Manchester United seemed to be heading for their first defeat for the season as Aston Villa were leading 2-0 after 80 minutes, with 2 goals scored in a lapse of 4 minutes, but United responded with 4 minutes of madness of their own, courtesy of Macheda and Vidic, to rescue the game and take away the 7th draw of the season, but one which will not do them any good so far, as they still lag behind Chelsea, and Arsenal could overtake them when they play later on.

Yet again United failed to impress on their travels, as they played a poor first half, with the best chance falling to Berbatov, but he missed that final touch to bury the ball in the net, and Aston Villa at the other end had some shots on target, but which did not trouble Van Der Sar much.

Trouble came in the second half instead, as the Villains came back all guns blazing, with Albrighton sending a header wide. United were getting more frustrated as they failed to impose themselves, while Villa were upping the tempo, and it could be sensed that United would not hold long enough. Collins had a great chance for Villa soon afterwards, but his header crashed against the bar, with Van Der Sar a mere spectator, and seconds later Agbonlahor saw his shot hit the base of the post and come out as United’s defense crumbled.

But eventually they were rewarded, as Brown brought Ashley Young down in the box on the 72nd minute for a penalty, and the latter stepped up to do justice himself, and wrong-footed Van Der Sar to open the score for the Villains. Fergie responded immediately in the hope of getting back on course, as he took off both Berbatov and Hernandez, both really losing points in today’s match as they were ineffective throughout the game, and sent on Obertan and Macheda. But United pushing too much forward, space was left at the back, and was expoited wonderfully by Villa yet again, as Young sent Downing through, and the latter’s cross towards Albrighton was too good to deal with, and the latter calmly slotted home for 2-0.

It seemed United were destined to suffer their first defeat at the hand of the Villains, and could be humiliated by the end of the game such was Villa’s pressure on them, but as it is usually said, never write off the Red Devils. Macheda was set up on the edge of the box and sent a screamer towards goal, which Freidel could do little about to keep it out. United could however have been down by 2 goals again, but Downing’s right foot shot flew just above the bar, with Van Der Sar may be beaten yet again. But United kept pushing  on, and eventually Vidic found the net on the 85th minute, as he scooped down to send Nani’s cross to the far post, with Friedel yet again deceived. Then Fergie made a bizarre decision, as he took off Park, to send on Smalling in attack, the latter being a central defender, but instead sent him up front with Macheda 😯

Obertan could have grabbed the winner late on, but his shot was blocked by Friedel’s face. 2-2 the final score, not really deserved for the Red Devils if we refer to their overall performance, but one which in the end help them to remain invincible but only just. Another draw to the counter, seems the Red Devils are becoming experts in this, but need to stop very soon enough if they want to really compete for the title.

January reinforcements as well are needed it seems, as United lack a player like Keane in midfield, a man who was never afraid to wind up the troops when things were going bad, and also give everything he could in a match. As for the defense, still needs to work a lot, and may be for once I accept that cursing Rooney when he wanted to leave was a bad decision, as with today’s perf, any player who really wants to win trophies will indeed take such a step, and hopefully Fergie rectifies things soon enough, may be bring in a good and young striker as well, like Benzema may be (in disgrace with Mourinho??) and seal the deal for a good keeper to take over from the aging Van Der Sar, with Neuer, Akinfeev or Lloris in mind here.

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