Fifth draw leaves Reds chasing points

Manchester United’s shocking second half display ended in a fifth Premier League draw of the season, with the Sir Alex Ferguson’s men letting a two goal lead slip against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford. The Reds will be thankful Chelsea also drew but another misshapen defensive display will cause Ferguson additional concern.

Patrice Evra put into his own net to gift the visitors a route back into the match, before Edwin van der Sar’s “primary school” error cost United the points against the newly promoted Baggies.

Ferguson’s side has now dropped ten points in the Premier League this season but surely none with such apathy. Wayne Rooney started on the bench but the striker’s late introduction did little for the home side as, almost unforgivably, the Reds allowed the game to peter out into a draw.

It’s a result that leaves the Reds five points behind Chelsea and three successive league draws against teams Ferguson would expect his men to beat tells a tale of a United side palpably out of form.

“It is an inexplicable result and obviously frustrating,” said Ferguson.

“I suppose there are two ways of looking at it. If we were in the middle of the league we could say we were still undefeated. For us it is not good enough.

“Sometimes it is better to be one goal in front than two. You keep your focus a bit more.

“It is not a defining result in terms of where the league is going to end up but we cannot keep doing that.”

Ferguson was suitably confident – or angry depending on your take on the situation – to leave Rooney on the bench. Rooney had publicly contradicted his manager over an ongoing ankle injury after England’s international on Tuesday, although the striker’s poor form gave the Scot reason enough to wield the axe.

Ferguson’s decision was also made more comfortable by the plethora of options available in forward positions. Not that two – Federico Macheda and Michael Owen – made the best fist of it against Sunderland. However, Javier Hernandez scored for Mexico in midweek – his 11th in 20 internationals – with the diminutive striker starting the match arguably the form striker in United’s squad.

It is not without reason Ferguson has been at the helm for 24 years even if these are trying times. Indeed, it took Chicharito just six minutes to justify his selection, with the striker following Nani’s long-range free-kick to tap home Scott Carson’s fumble.

The Portuguese winger doubled United’s lead before the half-time break, playing a neat one two with Dimitar Berbatov before striking low past Carson. United’s inconsistency this season is counter-balanced at least by the winger’s continuing excellence.

Yet Ferguson’s side should have wrapped up the match inside the first period, with Berbatov shooting just wide from distance and then inexplicably firing wide from Michael Carrick’s cross when the goal beckoned just eight yards out.

Not that Roberto di Matteo’s side was ever out of the game, with Chris Brunt denied by Rafael Da Silva’s last-gasp challenge when an away goal seemed certain.

Ryan Giggs left the action at half time with a recurrence of the hamstring injury that has kept the Welshman out of action for three weeks. If Rooney thought it was his opportunity then Ferguson had other ideas, with the perpetually ineffective Darron Gibson preferred and Anderson moving to the left side of United’s midfield.

The change did nothing for United’s rhythm. Nor, it seemed, levels of energy.

Evra’s own goal followed five minutes later and then van der Sar dropped a routine cross at the feet Somen Tchoyi’s feet.

The quick-fire double killed United’s hope. Worse it seemed to end the side’s desire, with Ferguson’s side seemingly happy to settle for the draw. Such is the lack of confidence in the ranks this season.

Rooney join with 19 minutes to go to little effect. The cameo was epitomised by striker’s heavy first touch and a sole, scuffed, effort at the visitor’s goal. In truth West Brom comfortably held out for a fully deserved draw. Brunt’s late strike from the edge of the area could even have won it for the visitors.

Ferguson refused to blame van der Sar for the error. He could hardly single the Dutchman out for criticism with so many sub-par performances.

“Edwin van der Sar has probably been playing for 25 years and was probably in primary school the last time he made a mistake like that,” said Ferguson.

“You have to just wipe it off the slate.”

With errors so catastrophic sometimes that is easier said than done.

United fans certainly won’t forget the team’s display soon. Boos rang round Old Trafford at full time. It just isn’t United.

Neither was the performance.

Match facts
United – 442 – van der Sar; Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Nani, Carrick (Scholes 71), Anderson (Rooney 71), Giggs (Gibson 46); Hernández, Berbatov.

West Brom – 451 – Carson; Olsson, Shorey, Tamas, Jara; Tchoyi (Thomas 69), Morrison (Dorrans 86), Brunt, Mulumbu, Scharner; Fortune (Bednar 78).

Attendance: 75,272
Man-of-the-match: Nani

Possession: United 50% – 50% West Brom
Attempts: 16 – 7
On target: 9 – 2
Corners: 3 – 2
Fouls: 10 – 7

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Comments

  1. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    don’t think we’re out of form, we’re not good enough, when you’re rubbish you drop loads of points, we are rubbish

    those fergie quotes are shocking, a one goal leads better than two, what is he on about, why is he harking on about if we were in the middle of the league, he fucking will be soon, ginsoak horse rimming cunt

    • swapnil says

      agree with you mate.we’re just not good enough.need some heavy rebuilding of the squad.we need a new keeper,a central attacking midfielder,a winger at least next season!!i have accepted the fact that we are not going to win anything this season(well maybe carling cup as almost all the big teams are out).atleast what i wish to see is fergie playing all these so called talented youngsters he has(i mean obertan,macheda,bebe,smalling,rafa,fabio and not gibson and evans,they are simply not good enough) to be given regular run in the team an so see if any of them have an outside chance of becoming a first 11 member!!

  2. NameOnTheTrophy says

    yep..no midfield is right..Darron Gibson was a passenger..
    hope the club can get its hands on Sneijder in January..Or atleast Give Cleverly a chance..

  3. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    don’t think we’re out of form, we’re not good enough, when you’re rubbish you drop loads of points, we are rubbish

    those fergie quotes are shocking, a one goal leads better than two, what is he on about, why is he harking on about if we were in the middle of the league, he fucking will be soon, ginsoak horse rimming cunt

    Some players ARE out of form… the ones that usually get us through in a pinch… but a good team like Chumpski has enough quality, that when a couple players go off the boil, there’s still plenty to pick up the slack.

    Without Rooney carrying the weight of 2 or 3… we are just a better than average team… but no where near good enough to take on the Renties.

  4. Sidsidney says

    8 games in and I’m slowly getting used to watching a United team that isn’t capable of winning the league or maybe even coming second

  5. SKW says

    Dreadful — and I wish my predictions of a team spiraling into mediocrity weren’t coming true. We need creativity in midfield or we’re goners.

  6. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    rooney on form or not we’re nowhere near chelsea, was almost a miracle what rooney did last year

    we will miss him

    cheers taggart

  7. herbie simms says

    I read SAF is finally making a move to bring in Douglas Costa in January. If this is true, this would be a major boost to the midfield. Right now, the best United team is the Carling Cup team. Why is he not playing Bebe and Obertan? I would play Nani up front with Berbatov and Bebe on the right wing, Obertan on the left wing and vice versa. Team would look something like this:

    VAN de SAR
    RAFAEL VIDIC SMALLING FABIO
    BEBE ANDERSON FLETCHER OBERTAN
    NANI BERBATOV

    • mongoletsi says

      Yet more absolute cockpiss idiocy from you.

      BE MY BY MY BEBE
      I WANT
      TO BUM YOU BEBE

      Jeeeeeeeesus

      Why is he not playing Gabriel “Niknak Head” Obertan? Erm, because he’s not proven and he shouldn’t have to.

      Same with Bebe.

  8. herbie simms says

    You can probably give Van de Sar a rest also. Yes, Cleverley is coming back in January. Is Eikrem ready for a Carling Cup run out? I wonder whats going to happen when United go to Stoke? Judging by these results, Stoke will be favourite to win this match. How many more years before SAF retires? I believe Martin O’Neil quit Aston Villa because he wants the job at United.

  9. Ted says

    Unregistered User said:
    You can probably give Van de Sar a rest also. Yes, Cleverley is coming back in January. Is Eikrem ready for a Carling Cup run out? I wonder whats going to happen when United go to Stoke? Judging by these results, Stoke will be favourite to win this match. How many more years before SAF retires? I believe Martin O’Neil quit Aston Villa because he wants the job at United.

    Martin O’niell can smell my fuckin cheese! Theres only Mourinho could take on the United job……..simple as.

    • mongoletsi says

      Current duo?

      Berba-Hernandez?
      Rio-Vidic?
      Anderson-Carrick? (I’m guessing you mean this one).

      Let’s be honest, the goals conceeded were pretty freakish. BUT at OT you’d think, no EXPECT us to go “fuck this!” and then make it 3-2, or 4-2, etc. That’s the prob… motivation and organisation.

      Me wonders if SAF has announced his retirement in private…

  10. herbie simms says

    Now it has been splashed all over the media that Rooney no longer wants to play for United. He also has refused to sign his new contract and wants out! The owner of Man City has made a comment that he is willing to put up 50 million for Rooney to transfer in January. Rooney would probably go to Man City to get back at Fergie. Whats interesting, the Glaziers have already agreed to sell him if he wants to leave. Would not be surprised if SAF decides to retire, lot a pressure for a 70 year old and he don’t need that at his age.

    • mongoletsi says

      // Whats interesting, the Glaziers have already agreed to sell him if he wants to leave. //

      Didn’t know that! When did they announce this?!

  11. herbie simms says

    Its all in the news. The big topic in every newspaper and on the BBC. But most people are waiting for Rooney to come out and say something to the media before they believe anything. The media is saying he wants out and wants to be playing for another club in the January. Mourinho has issued a statement saying he is now not interested in Rooney in January but the owner of Man City says he will offer United 50 million for a January transfer. It goes on to say that the Glaziers and Ferguson have agreed to sell him if he really wants to leave. MONEY TALKS! United will not turn down 50 miliion, they need the money to pay off debt.

    • mongoletsi says

      // Its all in the news. //

      What? There’s RUMOURS in the news, nothing factual. I’m not saying there’s nothing to the rumours but perhaps calm down, see how things unfold?

      Mind you, you write GlazIers which implies you haven’t got a clue.

      BEBE could take over from Rooney no worries!

  12. Liam says

    Come on Ed, hurry in from work and get something on here about the Rooney leaving saga!! Be interested to get your perspective on it.

  13. herbie simms says

    I’m not worrying about Rooney. SAF has got playere there that can do the job but he has lost is touch. Just don’t know how to put together anymore. 8 million pound BEBE and Obertan seem to be bought in as spectators!

  14. Ted says

    Unregistered User said:
    I’m not worrying about Rooney. SAF has got playere there that can do the job.

    Are you Roy Hodgkinsons disease under an alias? Could you enlighten those of us who are unaware as to these players “who can do the job”? Or have you O-Deed on Red caf.

  15. Dave says

    bebe and obertan on the wings and nani up with berba??? are you having a laugh!! that team would get fucked over week in week out.

    rooney needs to shape up or fuck off, in which case stick hernandez in with berba up top. hopefully he will bang in a goal or two midweek, the papers will piss off and he will get his season started. cant believe berba finally playing well and rooney goes retarded!! the two of them on form would be best partnership in league, nani in support. Awesome!!

    the main issue is centre mid. anderson and carrick are way below where they need to be, one needs to go (if not both) and bring in someone to play with fletch. someone with a bit of steel and creative flair … but who?? not many out there available.

    linked with defour but not seen much of him but heard he is good. maybe cleverly can break into team in new year.

  16. herbie simms says

    Are you saying that SAF has lost his mind by bringing in all these young players that are not good enough to play for United? I just feel he has not put the team together properly. The only team he seams to get right is the Carling Cup team. Iam only saying he already has the players because I have not heard SAF come out in the media and clearly state that he is looking to buy any new players. He keeps saying there are no players out there worth the millions price tag. So if he is not prepared to spend money to strengthen his squad, I would say it is time for him to go!

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