Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I was not that far off.

UEFA Champions League
Manchester United 1 - 0 Benfica

I was close. United went into yesterday's match against Benfica with dreams of getting revenge for knocking them out of Europe last season. Needing a victory to calm some of the critics that are already starting to bash United for a poor transfer job, United did just about what I expected. They were able to get one goal, which was one helluva effort by Saha, and they were surprisingly very effective in snuffing out Benfica's attacks in the second half.

The good thing from last nights match is that the United midfield and defense weathered the storm and the end of the match you could really see a composed and organized effort being put in by Carrick and O'Shea. Their effort in the second half hopefully are signs of a return to the Manchester United that just does not allow goals. The bad thing is that the Manchester United that cannot get quality crosses into the opponents box is still hanging around. Saha's goal was scored against the run of play, and despite having 14 shots (7 on goal), United had more trouble getting the ball in the back on the net.

In hopes of seeing some quality changes with the service, I would like to see SAF use Scholes and Ronaldo as more service guys, Ronaldo running up and down the wings, sending in crosses, instead of trying to score everytime he has the ball. Have Scholes sit back abit, and try and get the ball into Rooney and Saha more. Rooney and Saha need to get better service, and as the USMNT proved in the last World Cup, you need to have two forwards on the field, so they really need to be on the field together. Using the January transfer window to pick up another quality forward wouldn't hurt and would be able to rotate the three of them through the season.

Manchester United have their next two matches against Newcastle and Wigan, matches that should result in nothing less than 6 points in the Premier League. Their next UEFA Champions League match is at Old Trafford against FC Copenhagen, which should also result in nothing less than 3 points for the Red Devils. If the defensive midfield signs that we saw at the end of the Benfica match continue through the next three matches, United should be in ok shape.


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