Through pain and suffering

patriceevragoalcardiffvsmanutd20131124_576x324Manchester United somehow managed to bottle up yet another game in the Premier League, as the Red Devils, with much difficulties in the end, managed to bring back one point from their travel in Wales as they faced off Cardiff City. United displayed some really dirty football, with most of the time pumping long balls forward which went wasted, while Rooney should have been sent off in the opening minutes for lashing out at Mutch after the latter had robbed him of possession, and late in the game should have scored the winner, but instead gifted the ball to the opposition keeper in trying to be far too collective with Welbeck when a shot on goal was imposed. Januzaj, who has had a sensational introduction this season, was unfortunately well below par in this game, losing possession too often, and often being harangued by his teammates either for not being in the right position, or for going solo when others were waiting for him to pass the ball.United had a good start in the game, but Rooney clearly should have been sent off when he lashed out at Mutch for losing possession to the latter, but the ref was kind enough to give him a yellow only. However the “controversy” did not die there, since Rooney opened the score on the 15th minute, following a stray pass collected by Valencia, whose cross was deflected slightly by Chicharito as it went on to Rooney, and the latter was lucky to see his shot deflect off a defender and past the desperate Marshall in Cardiff’s goal. United threatened again as Fellaini’s header was saved by the keeper, but it was Campbell who scored at the other end on the 33rd minute, as Mutch found him in the box with an excellent through ball, and the former slotted coolly past De Gea for the equalizer at 1-1. However, as it seemed Cardiff were gaining the upper hand, United broke at the other end, and having won a corner, Rooney’s cross was well met by Evra on the 44th minute, as he powered a header which yet again deflected off a Cardiff player and into the net.

United thought they had done a good job, as they threatened early in the second half, before dropping back to defend as Cardiff pushed forward. Campbell came close to level the score as he took full opportunity of a defensive blunder to try lob De Gea, but the bar came to United’s rescue. Moyes seemed tense on the sideline as Cardiff pressed on, and his fear was right, as on the 90th minute, Smalling gave away a freekick on his right wing, and the result was a heart-breaking one for the Red Devils, as substitute Kim rose high to head the ball past the keeper, and send the Cardiff fans into ecstasy. Rooney then got a chance on the last break forward to claim the win, but instead tried to pass the ball to Welbeck instead of taking on a shot being one-on-one with the keeper, and the latter had little trouble to get in the way of the pass as Rooney had under-hit it. All the United players and staff could not believe their eyes, but indeed it was the last action of the game as the ref brought an end to the game, with United losing the chance to get into 4th spot in the league table. More serious tests are awaiting them during the week, as they travel to Leverkusen in midweek for the CL, then to London to face Tottenham for the PL, where in both games they can be defeated given their recent result and defensive fragility.

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