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Chelsea 1-0 Man United: Ugly Match Exposes United’s Frailties


This was one of those Premier League matches that had a draw written all over it that was crying out for just one decent attempt to puncture the dull game. And it finally came three-quarters into the match where John Terry headed the ball into the corner of the net.

Yet again, Sir Alex Ferguson put out a defensive minded team that played very cautiously with Wayne Rooney often up front on his own. Ferguson did the same against Liverpool at Anfield recently, and you have to wonder whether Ferguson believes deep down that his side are not capable of winning games when they’re up against superior opposition. Not sure why, but Ferguson waited until the 85th minute before bringing on Michael Owen to give Rooney a striking partner up top, but it was far too late in the game to make a difference.

In this frustrating match, I lost count of the number of bad passes, skewed shots, mid-air collisions and niggly tackles. It seemed everyone on the pitch was rusty Sunday. It reminded me a lot of the 2008 Champions League Final between those two sides which I thought was a painful final to watch until the penalty kicks added a saving grace. This was pretty close, but not as bad. But there was plenty of bad blood on display in the constant bickering and fouls committed by both teams.

As soon as the game kicked off, it seemed that Manchester United were going for a 0-0 draw. When Chelsea attacked, United had as many as eight players back to defend. Maybe Ferguson senses that Chelsea were the superior team so rather than suffer a psychological defeat, he wanted to go for the draw instead and keep the gap near the top of the table close. Too much to risk by going on the attack. But the plan backfired when Terry nodded the ball into the back of the net.

After Chelsea scored the solitary goal, I was expecting Manchester United to step up their performance and pile the pressure on Chelsea. While they did push forward more often, Chelsea did well to keep United at bay and to limit their chances to a few innocent attempts. This is definitely not a Man United team that seems capable of winning the Premier League trophy this season.

Based on the performance by both teams at Stamford Bridge today, I would much prefer to see a team like Arsenal who play positive football lift the trophy this season. Thank god none of my NFL fans watched this game today. I would have been embarrassed by the football on display. Nevertheless, Chelsea now have a massive psychological edge over United and must be favored to win the title if they keep going at this rate.

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  1. MAN UTD

    May 28, 2010 at 3:05 am

    man utd the best

  2. hanna

    January 11, 2010 at 9:01 am

    CHELSEA IS THE BEST TEAM EVER I GO GO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Jon Burns

    November 10, 2009 at 5:46 am

    It was a poor game made interesting only by the fact I had money riding on it: however then I see this, it find out I’m being ripped off on my punts anyway! – EU law stopping people getting the best odds on sports betting… sign the Right2Bet petition if you’ve been burned by this too!

  4. corey

    November 10, 2009 at 5:03 am

    i think that man u should pass the ball more like to the sides and get the bal in the box and shoot across the goalkeeper

  5. Thomas

    November 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    My pre season title favorites were Chelsea and Liverpool. Very wrong about Liverpool, but Chelsea seem to continue chugging along.

    Though hindsight is 20/20, when you objectively look at the changes to the Big 4 over the summer, as well as some of the outsiders (Spurs, Villa, Everton, City), I think what’s happened isn’t too shocking.

    Chelsea bring back largely the exact same squad that should have gone to the CL Final last year. Without the hick-ups during Scolari’s tenure, and they very well could have pressed for the title last season. Pretty much the same team as last year.

    Man U loses Ronaldo and Tevez, and you’re starting to see they aren’t quite the same side. Though I think Fletcher had a good game for United yesterday, and he’s been pretty stellar all season, his presence in Midfield might not be strong enough without the attacking prowess of Ronaldo. The only player who consistantly threatens teams anymore is Rooney.

    Liverpool, I thought, with the weakening of Man U had every reason to be optimistic about a serious title challenge. But I guess I underestimated how bad Lucas would play while Aquilani regains fitness.

    Arsenal is a team everyone seemed to write off…but you can’t fault Wenger’s logic that the return to fitness for many of his players is the equivalent to new signings. Arsenal are playing the most entertaining brand of football at the moment, and Chelsea the most effective.

    Not really surprising if you look at the table and see Chelsea and Arsenal at the top. I wouldn’t write off Man U just yet, but I just don’t see them having the ability to grab points at the end of games like they did with Ronaldo (think the crack he scores against Wigan to snatch full points near the end of the season).

    The title is Chelsea’s to lose..they have the most depth, experience, and grit. Though it would be difficult to compensate losing a player like Lampard, Chelsea are in a better position than any of the other title challengers to overcome a serious injury to a key player.

  6. man u

    November 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    i think man u played good but chealse played bad and dont get me wrong that goal wasent a goal to be honest by terry. man u still rocks

    • Sam Davis

      November 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm

      Don’t understand the sentiment that we only looked good because in tis instance Chelsea played poorly. Thrashing Bolton, Blackburn, and Atletico doesn’t suddenly make them world-beaters.

      Our midfield did the job and for awhile you probably didn’t even know that Ballack, Lampard, and Deco were even playing. I certainly can count on one hand the times that I even saw them on screen. Lampard’s left footed shot, Lampard celebrating with Terry, Ballack (surprisingly) yelling at the ref for Ivanovic’s yellow.

      Missing our first-choice CB pairing and a first-choice striker and we had the better of possession and dangerous chances in the game. Is it possible that maybe we actually outplayed Chelsea a bit. Kind of like the way Barça outplayed us in the CL final?

  7. football gifts

    November 9, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Football is a funny old game – my belief was that Manchester United were going to be triumphant when they met Chelsea at Stamford Bridge especially after the away result at Anfield but I have to eat humble pie. If we have to be honest and say which club deserved the win after watching the game then it as got to go in favour of United and more so for not been up to full strength as key players were missing. Also I think, and this does make a change, the ref went with Chelsea a few times on decisions at the expense of United. Surprisingly I thought Brown and Evans in the defensive role did quite well, much better than anticipated. Rooney had his chances but been on your lonesome held him back somewhat and this I believe was United’s downfall in the lack of goals and even attempts, so as for bringing Owen on when the whistle is about to blow is ludicrous and I cannot figure Ferguson’s game plan here?

  8. b

    November 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    games like this highlight the one flaw to the premier league set up, i think. because of the length of the season and the concentration of the same teams at the top, SAF and Chelsea have decided to always play for the draw against the top four on the road. and sometimes even at home.

    they just know that it’s better to only earn one point than to risk letting their rival get three, so they don’t even try to win anymore. the announcers on fox made some comment about both teams wanting to get more points out of there top 4 encounters this season, but i don’t think that’s true. they’re happy to get nothing out of them as long as their opponent gets nothing as well. then, man u is confident they’ll beat the minnows and win the title that way.

  9. Steven

    November 9, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Clearly the author here, knows nothing about football. The game was one of incredible intensity littered with moments of quality from both sides. The Champions league final of 2008 was of similar quality. This type of opinion reinforces why Americans will never fully embrace or understand the beautiful game. I actually thought this was one of the best preformances from a United team at Stamford Bridge for years. The gap between the two sides is very narrow and hence every time they play they tend to be cagey affairs, but to me this doesn’t take away from the quality. I’d take this over Arsenal versus a terrible Wolves team any time.

  10. gorgy

    November 9, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Two good teams. Good game. The big decisions went to the blues.
    1. United should have had a penalty.
    2. It wasn’t a free kick just poor amateur dramatics from Cole. Drogba fouled Brown, was offside and was interfering with play – otherwise it was a good goal. The ref couldn’t see any of this because he was standing behind a Chelsea player.
    3. Evans shouldn’t have kicked Drogba in the chest but if he hadn’t then the Drog, who had no chance of getting the ball, would have caught him in mid air and Evans would have ended up getting hurt.
    4. There isn’t a manager in any league who lost a game to a title rival under those circumstances who would have kept his mouth shut

  11. ish

    November 9, 2009 at 6:26 am

    get over the ref guys. yes he had a bad game but he was consistently bad. that and the united players got off with very little, i know for a fact that a couple of the players should have seen a yellow or two much earlier in the game and an eventual red for evans. Evans should have seen red in that game but didnt, stop complaining. Imagine if he had seen red, who would you have called up as a CB then?

  12. KC

    November 8, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    How can such an incompetent referee be given the responsibiluty to referee such a big match.

  13. Brian W

    November 8, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Richard = Manc scum. Have fun whining about 3 points instead of winning them in stoppage time minute 6 of 4 were posted.

  14. Shaun

    November 8, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I know it’s already been mentioned, but I have to disagree with you when you wrote that you were embarrassed by what was on display in this game. While it wasn’t open and flowing the way an Arsenal game would play out, it was a meeting of 2 highly tactical managers who understand what needs to take place out on the field to get the best result knowing the circumstances. Coming into Stamford Bridge, I was hoping that Sir Alex would NOT field a light/soft midfield (ie. Scholes and 1 other person) and he indeed packed it with fighters (Ando and Fletch). It was the best combination to pack the middle in an effort to help ease the pressure off Evans and Brown. Knowing that the battle was going to be won in midfield, it played out that way.
    Trying to be as unbiased as possible, I would also have to disagree with your statement that this is DEFINITELY not a Man Utd team that is capable of winning. Chelsea looks good, but to write them off after a game in which they battled so hard is silly. I will confess that based on current form, Chelsea look like favorites this time. But I’m not counting Utd out of the race especially with the African Nations Cup on the horizon.
    I would gladly sit down with my NFL friends and show them this game and show just how gritty and tough this great game is. That it isn’t a soft game for prima donnas that some people may perceive it to be.

    • Richard

      November 8, 2009 at 5:58 pm

      Well said.

    • Sam Davis

      November 8, 2009 at 6:03 pm

      After all, a full strength Chelsea team got whooped 3-1 against Wigan and lost 2-1 to Villa. Villa are no slouches but anything can happen. It seems like just because Drogba was on a tear and Chelsea were lighting up terrible teams while Utd. weren’t (even though we dominated both the Bolton and Rovers matches) suddenly they’re the favorites to run roughshod over the league. They put 4 past Atletico Madrid in the CL and then draw 2-2 later on. Atletico Madrid and defense aren’t two words that I’d ever place in the same sentence (just see this weekend in La Liga).

      Lets not forget the generous stoppage time needed by Chelsea to beat Stoke and the last minute goal to beat Hull earlier in the year. They all count for 3 points but my point is that it’s hardly indicative of a Chelsea team that can’t be stopped. All it took was a poor refereeing decision to see them with a FK and another poor decision to not disallow the goal for a foul to barely beat a side that outplayed them on the day 1-0.

      • oliver

        November 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

        “Lets not forget the generous stoppage time needed by Chelsea to beat Stoke and the last minute goal to beat Hull earlier in the year.”

        you mean when they scored in the 3rd minute (hardly generous at the end of the second half) after being camped in the Stoke half for the last 30 minutes?

  15. hmmm

    November 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I thought it was a pretty poor game. The current United team is incredibly pedestrian (worst for 5 years easily) and Chelsea looked well off their game.

    I enjoyed that Fletcher gave away the free kick leading to the goal, he’s the worst persistent fouler in the league, and he deserved that. He’s aggressive (which is fair) but his momentum constantly take him into players and he is never whistled or booked. When Ivanovich got shown a card my roommate mentioned Fletcher does that 4-5 times a game, I couldn’t have agreed more.

    • MNUfan1991

      November 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm

      hmm never mind that Fletcher won the ball fair and square. Check the replay for yourself.

      • ish

        November 9, 2009 at 9:45 pm

        so did ivanovic, watch the replay

  16. Brian W

    November 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    You don’t deserve anything in this league, you get what you end up with, at the end of the day there’s only one total for points, not a second one for “deserved” points.

    Any United supporter who deflects the act of Evans karate kicking Drogba in the ribs is a c*nt, just like JE himself. F**king disgusting, I don’t care if it is Drogba or not.

    • Richard

      November 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm

      You are a joke Brian W. Sort your life out.

      • masterblaster

        November 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm

        f off. not sure what else you would call the spikes into the chest of Evans to Drogba, but that was pretty bad.

        I wondered after that all wrapped up what happens with Atkinson and Co. How do they review that? Ummm…you gave a yellow card to the guy who went for the ball and got spiked in the ribs? Uhhh…..

        • Richard

          November 8, 2009 at 5:14 pm

          Hardly think not mentioning the Drogba/Evans incident makes me a c*nt. I’m merely pointing out that United actually played well and can count themselves unlucky to lose.

          I will actually comment on the Drogba incident if you like. It should have been a straight red. Granted. However, it’s about time Drogba actually got hurt for once rather than the persistent cheating. He’s got a horrible attitude and is a very unpleasant footballer. Right or wrong (definitely wrong), Evans did what everyone else wanted to do.

  17. Richard

    November 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    No mention of the dodgy award of a freekick and then the failure to give the offside for the goal? United deserved a draw easily.

  18. eplnfl

    November 8, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Well this was a heavyweight title fight for sure. Both sides where going to show no mercy. With a meaningless international break coming up for most players you could expend some extra energy.

    I think all but the most extreme Man U fans must admit Chelsea is the more talent team at this time. SAF did what he had to to keep the game close and work for a draw. He almost pulled it off and the only score resulted from a question foul call. Not the best of football, not what the game wants to be like but something that all to often happens.

    Last night I saw my hometown Chicago Fire win a playoff game. While the football was 2nd rate stuff, I enjoyed watching and the sellout crowd had a great time. Was the football in London today first rate no, but it was played by too first rate teams. Did the in stadium crowd and tv audience enjoy it. Not really, but enjoyable football is not always you get out of the Prem. Yet we still love it!

  19. masterblaster

    November 8, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, the teams are so equal that they force mistakes and limit opportunities and make the other look bad when they normally excel in games against the Bolton’s and Blackburn’s of the league.

    Anyone can slag SAF for his formation but the score was 0-0 after 70 and they could have scored a late goal just as much as Chelsea did. Yes, there was some cagey action late…Evans spiking Drogba only to have Drogba get a yellow card for it; a weak free kick given that resulted in the goal; ManU fans and players whining for a foul on Drogba for pulling Brown down.

    To me, that says a lot about the drama of this game. I was kinda put off by the amount of times ManU players were hounding the ref and whining. At the same time, I was hoping Ballack and Ferguson would get into a shouting match near the bench when Chelsea was given a card mostly because of ManU’s bench asking for it. That woulda been fun to see.

    • The Gaffer

      November 8, 2009 at 2:52 pm

      Masterblaster, I agree about the Man United playes hounding the referee and whining. Very annoying.

      But I don’t agree with your theory that because the two teams were so balanced that they forced each other into making so many mistakes. It was one of those rare days when the football wasn’t simply that good. Nerves definitely had an impact, but at this level with most of the players being used to these type of matches you would expect to see a higher quality of performance.

      And as for the United fans above who are complaining about poor refereeing decisions, they should like Fergie trying to deflect the attention away from a poor performance and focusing instead on controversial incidents in the game that the ref missed.

      The Gaffer

      • masterblaster

        November 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm

        dont agree. i think you have it in your mind that it wasn’t what you wanted it to be and so you are going to push that on everyone else and i’m not having any of it.

        would i have loved a 3-2 game where goals were scored by Drogba, then Rooney, then Terry, then Owen (for the good story and all any time he scores) and so on? Of course, but I’ll take it the other way.

        An engaging event…whatever happens, happens, and I enjoy it either way. I definitely don’t watch games like these and worry what my NFL friends would think. They can enjoy an hour of commercials during their coverage.

      • Zola612

        November 8, 2009 at 9:04 pm

        “I agree about the Man United playes hounding the referee and whining. Very annoying.”

        Is that a case of the squad taking it’s cue from the manager? SAF has been non-stop on the referees lately. SAF takes shots at whomever happens to referee a match when United doesn’t get a result. I have honestly begun to tune him out. Clearly there where some dodgy decisions today. But SAF has cried wolf so often that it has begun to taint my opinion of a squad and a manager I really respect and admire (or at least used to).

        • What?

          November 9, 2009 at 1:43 pm

          Chelsea’s players harass the refs more than any other team in the league! Look at Terry, Lampard, Ballack, Cole – you have got to be kidding me. A gift Mourinho gave the league. Thanks, Jose!

  20. Sam Davis

    November 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    So I guess I’m the only one that thought that with more possesion and more corners (although those don’t always tell the whole story) but the offensive display that we put on in the 2nd half leading up to Chelsea’s goal that United were actually the better side on the day, if even by a small margin?

    Neither GK was really tested early on and Chelsea defended just as much as we did. Implying that Fergie maybe “knows” that we’re not good enough to play with the best teams sounds like a backhanded attempt at slagging United off for whatever reason (which doesn’t seem to be too uncommon at EPL Talk).

    No mention of the Chelsea tactic of hacking down anyone in a red shirt later on in the match? And yes, I recall Evans’ bad challenge on Droga (who to be fair just ran right into him and then rolled around on the ground like he was going to die until he found out that he was getting a card and then popped up immediately). The foul leading up to the FK was hardly a foul and Drogba pulled Brown down in the box. Nobody else saw that?

    Matches between the big four are usually cagey and even when we had Ronaldo we employed that 4-5-1 on a number of occasions. I suppose Fergie’s been under the impression that we’re not good enough to beat the “bigger” sides for the past 2-3 season then. Even though we managed to get to the CL final last season.

    There was little to nothing between the two squads today and I feel like we actually outplayed them by a small margin. How many times did you hear the names Ballack, Essien, and even Lampard? To say that Ando, Carrick, and Fletch didn’t play well is a bit of a joke. The midfields, if anything, seemed to cancel each other out. If we didn’t have such tiny strikers and a right winger who can’t cross I think the times that we exploited Chelsea’s lack of width might’ve yielded something more.

    Two teams both make mistakes and both play a cagey match and somehow United are the ones that aren’t good enough and were playing all the negative football? Really?

    How about Terry going down (no head injury) Chelsea playing on, us stealing the ball, and the ref stopping play? I seem to recall the same thing happening to us earlier this season in the Charity Shield and we got scored on and lambasted for not putting the ball out when we could’ve.

    Game was as close as could be and it would either have taken a moment of brilliance or a stupid refereeing decision. I frankly would rather have had Drogba, Essien, or Lamps fire in a screamer than have a bogus foul lead to FK that ends in Drogba fouling Brown in the box for the goal. We’ve been on the receiving end of favorable calls like that and today we were on the end of it. But we weren’t outplayed. We were probably the better team.

    And if anyone saw Super Sunday +, I hardly think Evans fouling Drogba and apparently “angering the beast” is justification for Drogba fouling Brown in the box. Nobody even mentioned that on the show today? Surely someone saw that foul right?

    • oliver

      November 9, 2009 at 10:02 am

      “No mention of the Chelsea tactic of hacking down anyone in a red shirt later on in the match? And yes, I recall Evans’ bad challenge on Droga (who to be fair just ran right into him and then rolled around on the ground like he was going to die until he found out that he was getting a card and then popped up immediately). The foul leading up to the FK was hardly a foul and Drogba pulled Brown down in the box. Nobody else saw that?”

      Come on… If Drogba had dropped in the penalty area like Brown did you’d have been lambasting him for falling over when someone did nothing more than place a hand on him. And as for Drogba’s supposed playacting after getting studs to the chest – that is just nonsense. He had to go off injured a few minutes after the goal. There is *no way* that was tactical

  21. chethan

    November 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    To make a looong story short the writer is clearly a arsenal, fan , no wonder he is cribbing about bad looking game

    • The Gaffer

      November 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm

      Chethan, I’m a Swansea City supporter and I’m not a supporter of any of the 20 clubs in the Premier League.

      The Gaffer

  22. Avik

    November 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    As many have already pointed out before me, having a tactical game doesn’t make it all that bad.

    I am a Chelsea fan and happy with the 1-0 result, but I think SAF was right to put 5 in midfield and squeeze out the space. Chelsea has a width problem and depends on Ivan and Cole (diamond to blame). Valencia and Giggs made sure that sidebacks were mostly restricted in their place. Rest was taken care by back 4, Carrick and Fletcher… All good but should have done better with the chances… anyway, good for us!

    Same thing for Arsenal. They play beautiful sure, but tell me what they’ve won last (or have been close to win at least)? Inventive passing and one-touch and open play is not everything in Football… 🙂

    • The Gaffer

      November 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm

      Avik, a tactical game is fine but this match was full of so many silly mistakes – bad passes, poor shots and very few decent attempts at goal.

      The Gaffer

      • Avik

        November 8, 2009 at 1:54 pm

        yes. that i agree… it could’ve been better with even SAF’s defensive/pragmatic mindset (and a pathetic display by Chelsea midfield in general… not much imagination)
        But that’s the nerves I guess… Too much is at stake for these games and though they won’t admit, both the teams won’t be too unhappy with 1 point I think…

  23. Brian W

    November 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Like Arsenal has never scrapped for a win before…oh wait, they never have, ebcause they LOSE every match in which they are forced to play physical against a quality side.

    Chelsea will beat Arsenal at the Library 2.0 and be front runners well before Boxing Day.

    • Ross R.

      November 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm

      I couldn’t agree more

  24. masterblaster

    November 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm


    You’re usually spot on, but I can’t agree here. This was a grudge match, pure and simple, and I didn’t see it finishing any other way than 1-0. Whoever could grind out a goal would be the winner, though it came at the testiest of times in the late stages of the game.

    Nonetheless, it was funny you mentioned the NFL. As soon as I turned from this game to an American football game, a player was ejected for punching an opponent in the helmet (the guy that got hit in the helmet flailed around like Drogba, even though he had a helmet on!!!) and it’s still 0-0 as they get close to halftime. And this is a game where they get 7 points instead of 1 for a score.

  25. runningunnin

    November 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    As much as I’d love to rail SAF for his formation or tactics, playing without Ferdinand and Vidic, your best two defenders, really keeps your strategy limited.

    That’s not any kind of excuse for Man U, but I can see why things would change for them strategy-wise.

    • The Gaffer

      November 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm

      I disagree. Because Vidic and Ferdinand were injured, I would have played more of an attacking game to take the pressure off Brown and Evans. Instead Fergie did the opposite and let Chelsea come at them hoping for an opportunity to score on the counter attack.

      The Gaffer

      • Avik

        November 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm

        You play an attacking game to relieve your two less-experienced central defenders? And let Drogba, Anelka, Ballack et al run riot in the counter attack?
        Sorry, but your recipe looks like a sure-shot disaster plan to me…

  26. runningunnin

    November 8, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Are you serious? Does every match have to be a wide-open, high-scoring affair for you to enjoy it?

    Who cares about NFL fans? Why would they care either way?

    • The Gaffer

      November 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

      Runningunnin, I care about those NFL fans who I sit with and try to explain the beautiful game to them and show them how wonderful the sport is.

      The Gaffer

  27. Ross R.

    November 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I definitely appreciate Arsenal and the way they play football…but, to say they play “positive” football and thus implying that teams like Man U and Chelsea’s type of football is thus negative, isn’t really a valid substantive comment. Arsene Wenger says that this is the most creative team he’s ever had, but its not going to be the most successful. Opening yourself up to massive attack for the sake of aesthetically pleasing football isn’t admirable. It’s the exact opposite. Arsenal has no small margin victories. They can’t dig in and hold a lead. Arsenal are pleasing to watch, yes, but that doesn’t make them more deserving of lifting a trophy than a team that can be pleasing to watch but also has incredible defense and can dig out and win ugly, from time to time. Arsenal is beating up on bottom of the table teams, yes, but let’s seem them keep a clean sheet. They give up more goals in the last 5 minutes than a trophy hungry team should. All I’m saying is let’s not worship Arsenal for being incomplete in their talents…

  28. A Footballer

    November 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    It’s tactical! The passes were beautiful to watch, and defense was good on both sides. It’s much more exciting than a NFL game.

  29. Joel

    November 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Embarrassed? Sure, it wasn’t beautiful football, but it had all of the back and forth action and passion/drama that I love about the PL. Thought Utd went with a 4-3-3/4-5-1 because they knew they would be overrun in the midfield otherwise. Defensively they looked good, as did Chelsea. The biggest mistake SAF made was waiting until the goal to put on Obertan and Owen. Thought Anderson, Carrick, Brown, Fletch all had good games. Giggs’s age is starting to show finally. He just doesn’t have that pace or trickery as often anymore. A bit disappointed Utd didn’t get a point, but oh well, that’s football. I can’t say I like Utd’s chances for the PL title as much as in the past.

    • The Gaffer

      November 8, 2009 at 1:43 pm

      I love the Premier League, too, but this was one of the most forgettable games I’ve seen in several months. I was wondering what Fergie was thinking by taking so long to make his substitutions too. But as for the United players, I thought most of the ones you listed had a terrible game.

      Anderson should have gotten a yellow card for a couple of blatant pushes. Carrick’s shooting boots were missing today. And Fletcher was an annoying pest today constantly complaining about almost every decision by the referee.

      The Gaffer

    • me

      November 8, 2009 at 2:18 pm

      As soon as the lineup was released I had to let out a groan. Rooney up top on his own is a recipe for an impotent United attack. No idea why Owen didn’t come on until the very last minute.

      You’re talking nonsense about Giggs. Every year for the past 5 years I’ve heard people say, “oh, this is the year… Giggs has lost it.” Ridiculous.

      Fletcher played well, I thought. And the free kick for the goal was not a free kick. Although, that was a pretty nasty kick out on Drogba by Evans.

      • Joel

        November 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm

        I’m not saying that Giggs hasn’t been any good this season, I was just saying that him out on the wing isn’t as sure-fire as it used to be, especially in big games. Take the Liverpool game and this one as an example. He, though, has been IMMENSE over the past couple of seasons in particular. He’s a legend and still deserves his place in the side most every game. He had a bad game, that’s all.

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