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Adam class can't halt Man Utd

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Phil McNulty | 00:45 UK time, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Bloomfield Road

Blackpool Pleasure Beach stood eerie and deserted as a biting wind howled along the Golden Mile - but a Bloomfield Road classic illuminated the slumbering old seaside town.

As Ian Holloway requested a hammer and a pen-knife to build a statue to Charlie Adam after he added lustre to his reputation and millions to his price tag, Manchester United were erecting a new monument to the indomitable spirit fostered by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Adam, coveted by Liverpool and Aston Villa but valued far in excess of the £4m currently on offer, was the inspiration behind 72 magical minutes that placed Blackpool on course to wreck United's unbeaten record in the Premier League this season.

And yet, in a match stretched to 100 minutes by an injury to Rafael da Silva, United again performed their time-honoured trick of manouevring themselves out of the tight corner they had been backed into by a brilliant Blackpool performance, running out 3-2 winners.

Scholes and Co celebrate a fantastic comeback to beat Blackpool 3-2

Scholes and Co celebrate a fantastic comeback to beat Blackpool 3-2 Photo: Getty

United can thank good fortune, old masters on and off the pitch and that priceless ability to rise from the canvas for a victory Ferguson may yet regard as defining moment of their league campaign.

Blackpool were total value for the 2-0 lead they secured at half-time through headers from former Man Utd youngster Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell. And only referee Peter Walton will know why they were denied the opportunity to score a third by ignoring an obvious penalty claim when Rafael clumsily bundled Luke Varney to the floor in the area early in the second half.

It was the moment of luck United needed. They pounced on it to hunt down Blackpool and turn this thrilling encounter on its head.

Ferguson responded audaciously to United's desperate plight by removing off-colour Wayne Rooney after 66 minutes and replacing him with Javier Hernandez. Brave and bold, but rewarded with a change of mood that won the game.

The little Mexican predator sandwiched a goal in between two strikes from Dimitar Berbatov and a game that looked all but lost was suddenly won. An unbeaten record that looked set to end continued - and with it came a five-point lead at the Premier League summit.

And as United's supporters tucked away in a corner of Bloomfield Road celebrated ecstatically, it was Ferguson who was the match-winner as much as his players. He was vindicated in replacing Rooney, even with his team two down, and in Hernandez he has unearthed a poacher who may become his next Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The introduction of Giggs at the interval gave United a measure of order after a wretched first half. Ferguson's half-time team talk was unlikely to have stopped with the use of his infamous "hairdryer" - it was more likely that a flame thrower was produced. United were that bad.

Giggs set the tone and steadied the side before Hernandez took over from Rooney and helped Berbatov leave Blackpool shell-shocked at the final whistle.

Blackpool captain Adam provided the sub-plot before the game as every appearance shapes up as his last for the club. Holloway insisted Adam would be desperate to play against United even though his mind has been clouded by a transfer request and Liverpool's interest in particular,

Play he did, and in a manner that backed up every sentence of Holloway's insistence that offers of about £4m will be laughed off by Blackpool's owners.

Adam remains a Bloomfield Road favourite despite his unrest. Supporters cheered him to the echo before kick-off and a young fan touchingly brandished a "Don't Go Charlie" poster in an attempt to tug on the heartstrings.

Until United finally managed to exert a measure of control on Adam, he demonstrated with every touch why Holloway feels no amount of money would adequately compensate for his departure in the next week.

Adam was in the wars early on with an elbow injury, but recovered to show his steel in a challenge that left Patrice Evra with a bloodied face. And despite the chunky build, there is real finesse and touch to his game with one nutmeg on Darren Fletcher drawing huge appreciation.

He demonstrated a full passing range but the real weapon in his armoury was a killer final delivery. As well as producing corners for both Blackpool goals, a torturing cross almost caused Nemanja Vidic to head into his own net.

Holloway was as passionate as ever as he stated his case to keep Adam. It is clear his departure would be a damaging blow to a Blackpool side that has lost five out of six league games, no matter how gallantly they performed against United.

Blackpool are not exactly in freefall but they will fear the loss of momentum they have suffered in recent weeks would only be exaggerated by the departure of their most influential performer.

It is a huge dilemma for Holloway, hurting badly but full of admiration for his team as he said: "In the morning I will feel like I have been kicked in a very delicate place but then I will think of how proud I am of my team and my club."

Blackpool's last stint in the top tier of English football ended with a draw against Manchester United 40 years ago. For so long, against those same opponents, the Seasiders showed exactly why their continuing presence in the Premier League this time would be appreciated.

The wild switchback ride of those last 18 minutes broke Blackpool's hearts but they are big enough to come again. They were fearless, positive, but they were simply the latest victims of United's refusal to accept defeat.

Many sides would have written the night off as a bad job after plumbing the depths as United did for 45 minutes, but it is the mark of champions to stay upright and in shape to deliver three deadly blows in the closing stages.

Rooney's form remains a mystery, camped out on the left and reduced to a marginal figure and not much better when moved into the centre. Will there come a time soon when Ferguson feels the need to pull him out of the action, especially with Berbatov on a golden run and Hernandez such a threat?

If Rooney is suffering, Giggs is quite simply a phenomenon. Still so elegant and effective, his mere presence on the pitch galvanised United - the constant cajoling as crucial as his enduring ability with a ball at his feet.

He was vital, along with Ferguson's own gambler's instinct, that the door that may just have seemed ajar for United's title rivals for 72 minutes at Bloomfield Road was suddenly slammed shut.

You can follow me at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.


Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    An absolute cracker of a match.. stayed up till 3.15 in the morning to see it out till the end.. Couldn't be more proud of United !!
    Fought like true warriors...

    But desperately need a world class playmaker in midfield in place of Gibson/Carrick etc... They just dont have what it takes..

    2 players who I would want at United for a long time to come,
    Chicarito and Macheda !! I think they are the future..

    Come on United !!!!!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    The only worrying point in this game from a United supporter's point of view has to be our reliance on Giggs.
    In maybe 18 months time, we should have an able replacement for him, which is looking increasingly difficult. That man will take some replacing.

  • Comment number 4.

    Great game to watch as a non-united/blackpool fan. I believe United are well worth their money for the title this year, with Giggs still brilliant and Berbatov, although still patchy, his good patches are now incredible patches. But I agree that United do need a replacement for Giggs, Scholes etc for the future, but I'm sure SAF has that all under control. Wish he'd come manage Newcastle....

  • Comment number 5.

    @ No 3

    Should think its obvious what Fergie will do when it comes time to wave a grateful and teary goodbye to Ryan Giggs, he'll spend an absolute fortune on someone like Gareth Bale, a player United should have gone the extra mile to sign when they had the chance.

    Still, another good comeback from a team that looked desperate in the first half, my concern, we shouldnt be two goals back to Blackpool in the first place! We definitely need some steel and inspiration in the midfield to prevent issues like this Gibson's a good squad player and Carrick's done well but its time for a change - Anderson was introduced too late last night and for the wrong reasons, but he wouldnt have made that much differance. We need a new Paul Scholes and fast !!

  • Comment number 6.

    Yes, we did it again. When people thought United are going to lose, we proved them wrong again. Fergie will forever remain the best! But, seriously, Rooney needs to wake up from his nightmares. His performance is even making Fergie frustrated.

  • Comment number 7.

    Absolutely fantastic game of football!!! and good if not quite perfect article... -I can't believe that a guy that watches as much football as mcnulty would claim an 'obvious penalty' when its obviously the opposite.. the kid has body checked the player at most without sticking a leg or an arm out and the ball was already away from the attacking player and running into touch.. explain how this is a penalty?

  • Comment number 8.

    First half was difficult to watch as a Utd fan. We were very careless in possesion and Blackpool were inspired in response. Central midfield is a bit of a problem with the likes of Fletcher/Gibson/Carrick not providing decent supply to our strikers. Hats off again to Ryan Giggs! Not surprising Man Utd are attempting to get another year from him. Rooneys barren run is remarkable itself, surely Javier Hernandez has to get more regular starts? Bold move from Fergie to replace Rooney but it paid of handsomely! Utd continue to churn out results, winning however ugly, but I think it is a sign of champions to pull of results like this while under pressure.

  • Comment number 9.

    As a neutral, a great game. Shame Blackpool couldn't hold on as it would have been great for them.

    Charlie Adam should go for no less than £10mill, and if he does I hope Holloway get's it all to spend.

    As for United, they are stuttering in to gear, but it does seem like Giggs is at the heart of it all. The OT squad does not seem as strong as in the past, and in one of the next two windows SAF will need to get the chequebook out. They need a left winger (Bale or someone from overseas), a ball playing holding midfield player (lord only knows who) and most likely a left back as rumours of Evra to Madrid persist...

    That United are 5 clear and unbeaten shows what an interesting season it's been, and looking down the leagues it's tough to nail down promotion contenders and relgation fodder across the board....

  • Comment number 10.

    As I've been saying for a while now it is time to stick Rooney in centre midfield, with chicharito always coming on and scoring there is no doubt he is a top quality predator that will always score goals. With Rooney you have creativity, passing, vision, passion, desire, work rate and he is actually good at tackling too. With all these attributes there is no doubt he could play a similar role to Charlie Adam at United, it is also a position that most united fans have been saying we need to buy for but I think Rooney us the answer, it would be unfair to drop Anderson, even though he seems to still have cemented a place in the team somehow. Just imagine if we had a fit on form hargreaves to partner him in the centre, I think we would be unstoppable.
    But anyway it was another classic game from the premier league and i await the anti-united bandwagon to come on here and comment about that penalty again, saying we always get the decisions. it was a penalty, but what goes around comes around and it has and will even itself out with some decision going against united: Birmingham foul/handball equaliser westbrom hand ball, rafeal red card at spurs.....and 10 mins of 'holloway time' :-D

  • Comment number 11.

    Should think its obvious what Fergie will do when it comes time to wave a grateful and teary goodbye to Ryan Giggs, he'll spend an absolute fortune on someone like Gareth Bale, a player United should have gone the extra mile to sign when they had the chance.

    =============================================

    Bestboy Man Utd did try and buy Bale but the lad aged only 17 wanted games in the Premier League a thing SAF at that time couldn't guarantee. Spurs came in promised the world and he jumped ship. Think about it SAF at the time down the left hand side had Evra, Giggs, Nani and even Ronaldo in 2007. There was little chance Bale at the beginning of his career would have forced any out.

    But I agree that SAF if funds are there may have to fork out £30 million plus to get the lad.

  • Comment number 12.

    @10 - at last I've found someone who agrees with me. Rooney is ideal for central midfield for all the reasons you've said. I've been saying for a while he could be Scholes' replacement. After all, didn't Scholes start as a striker? I think it could help his game - as too many people look to him for goals when there's so much more to his game.

    Hernandez and Berbatov also look like a goos prospective partnership, although we do need another striker as Owen was a fair enough gamble but one that hasn't worked.

    I could see Rooney bossing the midfield like Keane in his prime used to.

  • Comment number 13.

    The Penalty, The luck United needed?

    It's not luck though is it, as we are talking about these shameful decisions each week.
    ---------------
    You have to love the bitters!

  • Comment number 14.

    a classy and creative midfielder is required right now. giggs doesn't play every game. ditto scholes. so in their absence we struggle to create chances.

  • Comment number 15.

    How is it United are always "lucky" with certain decisions? Gary Neville against West Brom and again Rafael yesterday.

  • Comment number 16.

    I wouldn't say Rooney's form is dropping. It's just that he's not a goalscoring striker now. Things have changed and he's either a winger or second striker to Berbatov. He's put in some excellent performances this season, setting up most of the goals for Hernandez and Berbatov so in my opinion he's a vital player for Manu.

  • Comment number 17.

    People blaming Berbatov , for him not being good enough in our travels are fools. Why we played a three man midfield against Blackpool is beyond me . When we went back to 4-4-2 we were better. Sir Alex got it wrong yesterday.Berbatov is a class act. And if Gibson is even a squad player for in us then we are doomed. The guy is rubbish and cant even shoot with good placement.He should be sold. Hernandez will be world class .

  • Comment number 18.

    Why does everybody try and blame the referee? sure it was a big call, but united have had many decisions unfairly against them this season.
    it wasn't even the infamous Webb & Clattenburg.
    We won the game because of the way we played in the last 30-40 minutes. We were poor for the rest, but Giggs and Hernandez galvanised our team. Hernandez drew the Blackpool defence, giving Berbatov a lot of the space he craves which he hadn't been able to find earlier on in the match due to the near negligible threat posed by Rooney.
    I tell you what some of the people who always make it out that the ref's favour united (no matter where they play)-BITTER.

  • Comment number 19.

    Can someone explain to me why Rooney is keeping Hernandez from a place in the starting 11? I agree with Phil on that point that his place is definitely under threat, the only thing keeping him there is his over-hyped reputation, he's been rubbish for a while now.

  • Comment number 20.

    Red Maverick writes:
    An absolute cracker of a match.. stayed up till 3.15 in the morning to see it out till the end..
    =================================================================
    Oh, come on, it was only 10 extra minutes. Even Fergie can't wangle that one!
    Giggs was phenomenal and Hernandez could have had a hat-trick in 20 mins whilst Rooney couldn't muster a shot in anger in 60 mins.
    And getting £10m for Charlie Adams will cost Blackpool dearly. Holloway is right to hang on to him until Summer or else they'll simply be a rich 2nd division side.

  • Comment number 21.

    It really does need to be adressed, United have now been handed a life line in the Stoke, West Brom and Blackpool games.


    All of these games had clear blatant penalties and or sendings off denied to teams. United should have been down to 10 men, facing a penalty, early in the first half against the Albion.

    I have no respect for them even if they do win the title, they've been handed it by at best astonishingly poor refereeing.

    If I was a United fan I'd be ashamed at how they are being gifted these games.

  • Comment number 22.

    Thats the difference between great teams and have runs.
    When United were attacking and scored 2 goals within a few minutes, Blackpool did not really have an answer.
    Any one who has seen the game will accept that even their best player Charlie Adam went missing for that period of time.
    As for the penalty shout, it was one of thoese decisions which would have been a freekick outside the box, but a penalty would be too much.
    It was just a good old body check and the Blackpool player went down too easily.
    Rafael and Fabio are our future, what amazing talents!

  • Comment number 23.

    Do people seriously believe that referees purposely give united or any other top team an advantage?

    Most football fans seem to have a selective memory. People instantly (and I mean within minutes) forget when a decision goes against one of the top teams (such as Rafael being sent off last week, United drawing through a goal that was offside and handball, etc), while they go on about it for months when a decision goes for them.

  • Comment number 24.

    SAF is beginning to frustrate himself and Utd.He brought Giggsy off very early against Birmingham and you will think he's resting him for the next game,but he wasn't.The same goes for Ando.SAF has to realise that you can kill games off early(just like against Birmingham) and rest your key players than wait for late dramas like this.For God's sake your next league match is not up until 1st Feb. and I'm not sure you will feature Giggsy in the FA Cup so why didn't he start this one?It was a nightmare to watch the first half if you are a Utd fan.Peter Walton had a poor game and it wasn't just about the penalty he should have given but Charlie should not have seen the game through after the elbow.He didn't even blow for a foul,did he?

  • Comment number 25.

    It really does need to be adressed, United have now been handed a life line in the Stoke, West Brom and Blackpool games.


    All of these games had clear blatant penalties and or sendings off denied to teams. United should have been down to 10 men, facing a penalty, early in the first half against the Albion.

    I have no respect for them even if they do win the title, they've been handed it by at best astonishingly poor refereeing.

    If I was a United fan I'd be ashamed at how they are being gifted these games.

    --------------------------

    I might be wrong but I doubt any Utd player or fan cares a jot whether you 'respect' them or not.
    You also gleefully or ignorantly ignore the bad calls given AGAINST Utd.
    Am I right in assuming you're a Kop clown?

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Its funny how its only shameful decisions that go uniteds way that get highlighted.... when they go in another teams favour or against united the media dont seem to highlight them...

    was it last season steven gerrard got a straight red and there was no mention of it at all on match of the day that evening - very strange that was !

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    21. At 08:51am on 26 Jan 2011, JJ wrote:

    If I was a United fan I'd be ashamed at how they are being gifted these games.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ever heard of swings and roundabouts?

    Every season United have bad decisions given against them, its just not picked up because the media and bitter fans such as yourself refuse to acknowledge them because of the jealousy/hatred towards them. The most recent of this would be Birmingham's equaliser in December.

    Ashamed? Nope, thrilled to bits. No other team would finish a game like that, thats why we've won 18 titles....

    Soon to be 19?

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    So Phil, bloodying an opponent's face is a demonstration of steel is it? And by the way leave out the attempts to be the Thomas Hardy of sports writing (refer opening para) you just don't have it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Bribery?! Haha, we haven't got any money to spend on top players but we've got enough to spend on paying off The FA, The Premier League, all the refs in England, the media etc...

    Good effort, try another though.

  • Comment number 36.

    Man utd have been hit hard in decisions this season but we just get on with it. Against stoke home and away we were denied a blatant penalty in both games, at old trafford blatant handball and away clear foul inn the centre of the penalty spot.

    Against west brom away we also should have had a penalty for a handball stopping goal with raised arms.

    Against Birmingham we should have won but again conceded from a handball assisted goal, which was there only effort really on goal and it was illegal.

    Even against Tottenham at old trafford were nani scored a legitimate goal everyone seems to complain and even then just before the goal we should have had a penalty anyway and the tottenham player who fouled him should have been sent off but somehow Harry Redknapp thinks it should be a yellow card.

    Man utd are worsely treated most of the time.

    Look at the performances of the linesmen over the two games against chelsea last season. Rooney 5 yds onside played on by 2 chelsea players in the middle and the other side of the pitch flagged. Drogba at old trafford 5 yds offside with no man utd player near after or before the ball is played but the linesmen must have just had a I hate man utd shirt on for that goal to have counted.

    For every decision man utd get they get 2 or 3 wrong decisions against them but abu's all just cling on to 1 example but in the same game man utd get treated badly by the officials.

  • Comment number 37.

    Have to admire the never-die attitude of United, but surely it must be a big worry that yet again it takes a team to score goals against them before there is a reaction and United start playing like the team everyone is familiar with.

    It really is getting tiring hearing same comments about United always getting decisions given their way, when decisions are given against United they are ignored.
    Chelsea were the same last year, more often than not bigger decisions went their way. bottom line is that teams that win a trophy have their fair share of luck.

  • Comment number 38.

    Blackpool's all-out attack strategy is one of their key facets, as I've appraised in my FORTES & FLAWS idea...have a look!

    http://thechinbeardboy.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    It's clear from all the neutrals that the big decisions always seem to go the way of Man Utd, but especially at Old Trafford.

    Game after game, season after season they get that break from the officials that means the difference between a draw or a win.

  • Comment number 41.

    'And only referee Peter Walton will know why they were denied the opportunity to score a third by ignoring an obvious penalty claim when Rafael clumsily bundled Luke Varney to the floor in the area early in the second half.'

    Man united do get these decisions season on season.

    Its just fact.

  • Comment number 42.

    40. At 09:22am on 26 Jan 2011, dogeared wrote:
    It's clear from all the neutrals that the big decisions always seem to go the way of Man Utd, but especially at Old Trafford.

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Neutrals? You mean Liverpool and Arsenal fans?

  • Comment number 43.


    Adam was fantastic. His passes were awsome, but United was the better side. The penalty decision was correct by Ref, football is a contact type of game everyone knows that.
    I don't understand why Phil, the guy is so smart and still call that incident "an obvious penalty".
    Phil i don't understand why everybody moaning about that decision. And everybody saying Manchester United is always cheat. Chelsea last term back in 2009-2010 campaign won the dubble against Manchester United with doddgy decisions. Remember?
    I don't understand people sometimes, anyway the game was sooo good, it was a remarkable win for United.

  • Comment number 44.

    It was a great game to watch and (as a United fan) I hope Blackpool stay up. They'll have to sort out their naive defending though as their gung ho attitude will cost them points.

    By playing so high up the pitch against a team like United - especially with pacey strikers like Hernandez on the pitch and players with the ability to pick a pass, they effectively handed the game to Utd on a plate.

    Given their exhaustion they would've been better defending deep.

  • Comment number 45.

    "Luck"? Luck has nothing to do with it

    It happens time after time. The official's bottle it because in the main they are scared to give big decision against Man U, probably fearing being placed in the spotlight and the Ferguson tirade which will follow.




  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    23. At 08:56am on 26 Jan 2011, Atpte wrote:

    ************************************

    Unfortunately opposition fans need to find some excuse whenever United win. It's hardly new is it....

  • Comment number 48.

    Of course everyone forgets the decisions that go against us. Remember this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJt0YdA6hiA

    What, you mean that's not a penalty?

  • Comment number 49.

    Couldn't agree more with this comment. I'm sick to the back teeth with all these comments about how lucky United are. We weren't lucky when that giant Serbian circus act cushioned the ball with his arm into Bowyers path for Brums equaliser. That cost United 2 points. The last minute equaliser by Arteta for Everton was deflected twice. Were United lucky then. I see brave John Terry and Wenger bemoaning United's luck. Do you remember Drogba's offside at OT last season that cost United the title captain Lionheart?

    These breaks even themselves out over the course of the season. The trouble United have, mainly down to a clear anti United / Ferguson bias in the press, is every controversial decision is magnified in the papers or on the BBC or Sky by all the ex Liverpool & Arsenal pundits.



    ************************************
    Ever heard of swings and roundabouts?

    Every season United have bad decisions given against them, its just not picked up because the media and bitter fans such as yourself refuse to acknowledge them because of the jealousy/hatred towards them. The most recent of this would be Birmingham's equaliser in December.

    Ashamed? Nope, thrilled to bits. No other team would finish a game like that, thats why we've won 18 titles....

    Soon to be 19?

  • Comment number 50.

    I see the idiots are already up and about this morning. As a neutral myself sometimes you have to just accept that Utd are a good team and deserve to win a game. Yes they have had a few decisions their way but Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool get them week in week out too. Why is it always flavour of the month to accuse officials of favouring Utd or that Utd are a lucky team. You don't go this long unbeaten or have as many trophies in their cabinet as they do because of luck. Come on people get a sense of sportsmanship and stop acting like babies.

  • Comment number 51.

    @24: that's why you're just a football fan and SAF is the greatest manager of all time. He gives his young & squad players a chance so that he has backup, a squad he can rotate and a succession plan.

    giggs CANNOT be replaced, the team will just evolve into a different beast when he moves on e.g. just like we did after Cantona (succeeded by a pacier frontline of Cole & Yorke). Nani and Valencia are hugely talented wingers - they won't replace Giggsy but they'll do a different job.

    Fergie keeps the likes of Giggs, Scholes & Neville in the team & squad so that the young players learn from their wealth of experience & talent. That's one reason why Fergie has been able to create several different Championship-winning teams at Utd - he keeps the wise heads (McClair, Solskjaer, Phelan) on to bring through the next gen of players..

  • Comment number 52.

    It's probably quite telling that, no matter how giddy and excited the commentators were getting and Blackpool being up 2-0, not for a single minute did I actually ever think they'd win the game. There wasn't even a flicker of surprise from me when the inevitable goal, equalizer and winner were scored. Call it cynical, I call it past experience.

    2-0 isn't enough against Man Utd, definitely not for a team like Blackpool. Who, darlings as they are (and they have been very entertaining this year), are on quite a bad run at the moment that suggests the relegation zone might not be quite so far away as hoped.

  • Comment number 53.

    PulpGrape

    Actually, City fans tend not to be as vocal with the whole 'United get the decisions' line, strangely.

    Mind you, I doubt any will have the gall to pop up on this blog and criticise the ref in last night's game, given the shocking refereeing in both their league games against Blackpool this season, basically handing 6 points to them on a plate.

  • Comment number 54.

    26. At 09:02am on 26 Jan 2011, DieHardGooner wrote:

    Any proof of those bribery claims? Suprised this hasn't been modded as you appear to be suggesting some Italien type referring scandal as if it was fact and you have hard evidence.

  • Comment number 55.

    Are some of you people on the school PC? I get the feeling that you must be by your attitude whenever Utd win - never actually in your opinion by fair means, always someone else to blame - usually the ref. As has been pointed out decisions do go against utd - if the ref had seen the foul, then the handball, then the offside for the Birmingham 'equaliser' (count them, 3 decision in two seconds) then they wouldn't be 5 points clear it would be seven, and you'd have even more to gripe about presumably.

    And the biggest decision of all, (btw again to refute some 'homer' arguements this was at Old Trafford), last season a Drogba 'goal' offside by at least a yard (and no arguements from anyone about that at the time) that gave Chelsea the 3 points and also the title.

    If necessary every team could be scutinised and 'fors' and againsts' could be found - if you've something worthwhile to say these boards are great places to have intelligent conversations - but the same old tripe day in day out from vitriolic 'fans' does get very wearisome.

  • Comment number 56.

    Also everyone goes an about old trafford as if we get lucky decisions but there have been lot against us over the past few seasons. Roma got a free penalty at old trafford.

    Ronaldo in the year 2008 when we did the double should have had a penalty in the 5th minute against portsmouth in the fa cup quarter-final but yet a complete blantant foul was ignored and we tried 110% for the win but everything was there after being cleared off the line before a goal were our keeper was sent off and a penalty given against happened yet the same thing at the other end on ronaldo got us nothing 80minutes earlier.

    Against Everton in the FA cup semi-final in 2009 we were denied another blatant penalty late on to win it.

    In the 2009 carling cup final denied a blatant penalty on ronaldo against tottenham.

    In the 2010 carling cup final after giving away a penalty every ABU was saying we should have had a red card but 10 minutes later owen was clean through on goal before being taken out which was a blatant red card not given around the 20th minute and not the media or anyone even mentioned that or the fact we completely outclassed aston villa after the 5th minute and only tge crossbar and clearances off the line stopped it from being 4 or 5.

    Even in the 2008-2009 season semi final champions league at old trafford giggs was wrongly flagged for offisde with 20 yds of space to run in to and score and in the league game a month later we had a wrongly disallowed winner against Arsenal. In the 2008-2009 season we had 27 wrongly disallowed goals for offside, hence why we won so many games 1-0.

    I could go on but the only reason ABU's think man utd get the decisions are because man utd are successful and are a very good team and rather say we buy the officials then say we are good.

  • Comment number 57.

    Ferguson responded audaciously to United's desperate plight by removing off-colour Wayne Rooney after 66 minutes and replacing him with Javier Hernandez. Brave and bold, but rewarded with a change of mood that won the game.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Not really sure how a like-for-like substitution on 66 minutes counts as bold...

  • Comment number 58.

    Look some fans need to take their blinkers off and get real we have loads of decisions go against us and other big teams the equalizer for Birmingham and raphs sending off are to name just a few in the recent memory and yes of course we have had some luck this year but if you seriously think this equates to being top of the league just because we are given a few decisions then you need help! open your mind and look properly at it and you will realize the reason we are top of the league is because all the other teams have been slightly worse than us this year (so far) stop being bitter and just be honest, it was a pen last night (just) but it was!! saying that we have had more obvious ones turned down this year

  • Comment number 59.

    I don't think even the most hardened United fan would have begrudged Blackpool a win after their performance in the first half.

    The main thing about this game though was the positivity from both sides. It was a great game of football. Sure Blackpool may go down, but they can hold their heads up high even if that happens.

    The penalty decision was harsh on them, but as has been said these things even themselves out over the course of a season.

    For me the most impressive thing about the game was the way the eternally youthful Ryan Giigs can still galvanise the whole team merely by being on the pitch. They are sure going to miss him when he finally retires.

  • Comment number 60.

    This result was very damaging. Damaging not for United, but for the confidence of the teams below that would love to win the premiership trophy. It's not every day that a team can come back from 2-0 down, in the last 20- minutes of the game. United are the masters of come backs.

    Of course, Liverpool fans will bemoan a penalty not given, reminding us of a penalty given for "MINIMAL" foot-contact, forgetting conveniently 2 blatant penalties not given in one minute in the second half - and that was a cup game, against a team that should worry about relegation rather than targeting high positions on the table. And ask Di Mateo and his striker if a penalty guarantees a goal.

    Even the 10 minutes given for a long delay to a terrible looking injury to Rafael were bemoaned at as Fergie time. Are they worried in case United would score 2-3 more? Was it an elbow on Evra's face that had him with blood on his face?

    Isn't it about time Liverpool fans blaming their team for being so miserably lowly? Shouldn't Arsenal fans point the finger at three miserable home defeats that keep them 5 points behind United? Shouldn't Chelsea fans allocate responsibilities where due, for not refreshing their team for so many years? Shouldn't City fans tell their own Italian that when you go 1-0 down and 2-0 down, you can come back?

    I'm expecting a national moan-day. I'd tell the moaners to grow up. United showed why are the prime candidates for the title, last night and gained a lot, psychologically, apart from opening a gap with the rest of the leading pack.

  • Comment number 61.

    The ref didn't give the penalty cos the player could easily have stayed on his feet. If he was a defender shepherding that out of play, Rafael could have ran into him 5 times and he would have stayed on his feet. Rafael stayed on his feet, the player went down on impact far too easily.

    The replays looked far worse than real time.

  • Comment number 62.

    A wonderful Utd fight back. We were so poor in the first half but give credit to Blackpool - they were brilliant, fought hard, and posed a constant threat going forward (even if their goals came from set-pieces).

    Yes, Utd have been handed a lifeline in three away games this season (West Brom, Stoke, Blackpool) but only because they've persevered in games that looked lost (or drawn in the case of Stoke).

    This argument by one poster above claiming Utd will only win this title because of poor referee decisions in terms of penalties/red cards not being given should remember one thing:

    Man Utd WOULD have WON the league last year had Drogba being CORRECTLY adjudged offside in the game in which he scored at Old Trafford that finished 2-1 to Chelsea.

    Referees get things wrong and it happens as often to Utd as it does with anyone else.

  • Comment number 63.

    Cant help but think that if Blackpool were playing a team with a foreign manager, He would have vented more frustration about the penalty incident and said all sorts and you know he would have, UTD fans, considering his rants during the season so far. Obviously he respects Fergie and kept his mouth pretty much shut. Pity he didnt show Houllier the same respect too when discussing the Adam bid with the whole world.

    Holloway comes across as a hypocritical twit in my opinion. Good game though.

  • Comment number 64.

    Phil,

    You wrote the following:

    "And only referee Peter Walton will know why they were denied the opportunity to score a third by ignoring an obvious penalty claim when Rafael clumsily bundled Luke Varney to the floor in the area early in the second half.

    It was the moment of luck United needed."

    What you must have meant is that 'it was the moment of luck United get match after match, season after season'.

    And as for Peter Walton, maybe it's time for another mock-up of a referee in a United shirt...

  • Comment number 65.

    It was a very good comeback, but there was a worrying loss of form in the first half that would not be forgiven against a team like Chelsea.

    The second half performance though was really wwonderful and we ground down a very spirited Blackpool team.

    As for "lucky" decisions, i think the reason that most other teams resent them so much is because Manchester United more often than not take advantage of them in the most brutal way. Had the score remained 2-0, noone would even be talking about the penalty decision, but because we won 3-2 people are suggesting that would have made the difference. Who is to say they would have scored it, who is to say we would not pushed on and scored 4?

  • Comment number 66.

    Swings and roundabouts? Give me a break. Man U have 1 game this season where they were robbed of pts ie Birmingham away. All 3 away wins were as a result of the ref. Neville Should have been sent off against WBA and Stoke and also a pen given to WBA. The pen last night was so blatant its untrue.

    other games:
    Nani not sent off against A Villa for deliberate elbow
    Everton prevented from scoring a winner in injury time by ref blowing at least a minute too early.
    farcical goal by Nani allowed against Spurs.
    Joke pen against Arsenal for handball when the ball rolled against Clichys arm when he was on the ground leaning on it.
    Fulham away - joke pen and Fulham goal disallowed for nothing

    Not to mention the preferential treatment Rooney gets whereby swearing abuse is not a red card offence just for him

  • Comment number 67.

    Mr Chelsea,

    Hyopcritical twit?

    I'm sure your username used to be "Ian Holloway is a Legend"...


    Why has he fallen so far in your estimation?

  • Comment number 68.

    some of Roos lack of goals is down to not being played as an out and out striker. That role has been given to Berba this season to prevent him losing confidence in himself, and he has seized it with both hands. Chico wasn't uncovered, or discovered, or made by Ferguson, he played in the world cup and was one of the more prolific strikers of that tournament in South Africa. It is still a good buy though and Ferguson should be credited for buying him yes.
    Number 10 I agree, I said it a long time ago, Rooney would be not a scholes type midfielder by a Keano box to boxer. I think Ferguson is missing out on something by asking him to play on the wing, but I also think he is probably regretting ever saying anything about Rooney staying or going.......looks like a not so good investment as it was at the time. I think for once McNulty has this right on the money in that it's a defining moment of the season alright, not only did United fight back from 2:0 down but went on to win away, which is exactly what they haven't been doing this season. I don't care about unbeaten thing, but it's nice. I have never been so confident before that we could win this early in the year, but there are some big games to come soon. We should be cautious as fans, but go for the juggular on the pitch.

  • Comment number 69.

    57. At 09:41am on 26 Jan 2011, Whelk wrote:

    Not really sure how a like-for-like substitution on 66 minutes counts as bold...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To be honest me either, I was saying at half time that he should but Chicharito on for Rooney. The game was crying out for some pace and I thnk his personel enthusiasm to get around the pitch spreads throughout the team.

    To be fair after a good game against Birmingham at the weekend when Rooney couldn't buy a goal it seemed like the best decision to start him but he clearly was off colour again last night.

  • Comment number 70.

    14. At 08:31am on 26 Jan 2011, timelord24 wrote:
    a classy and creative midfielder is required right now. giggs doesn't play every game. ditto scholes. so in their absence we struggle to create chances.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Hellloooo.........Charlie Adam!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    68. At 09:51am on 26 Jan 2011, collie21 wrote:
    Chico wasn't uncovered, or discovered, or made by Ferguson, he played in the world cup and was one of the more prolific strikers of that tournament in South Africa. It is still a good buy though and Ferguson should be credited for buying him yes.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ferguson bought him before the World Cup though. I'd never heard of Hernandez before the World Cup, and I try to follow football worldwide.

  • Comment number 72.

    #22 Kolkataheke

    "As for the penalty shout, it was one of thoese decisions which would have been a freekick outside the box, but a penalty would be too much"

    By definition then it should have been a penalty, I see and hear this time and time again, if a referee is prepared to give a freekick on halfway for a foul, he (or she) should show the strength of his (or her)convictions and give a similar foul in the box. The laws of the game shouldn't be open to that kind of manipulation.

    It's so frustrating to see referees give 'soft' fouls around the park, then let them go in the box, if it's a foul it's a foul, it should be that simple.

  • Comment number 73.

    Seeing anyone who doesn't support United meltdown into the state of paranoid gibbering wrecks furiously recounting past games where United have had a decision go their way is always a wonderful sight.

    No mention of the Mendes goal yet though...

  • Comment number 74.

    I think people seem to remember ManU mistakes more because they make the most of them. The fact is that for most other teams in the league who are 2-0 and playing THAT badly, if the ref doesn't give the penalty they still lose and so the pen call doesn't become an issue. But for ManU who have the belief to get 3 and win the game, the pen becomes the deciding factor.
    Fair enough if it was a tight game at the time (2-2 or even 2-1) but for most teams that call wouldn't have changed the game.
    These sort of decisions happen all the time for all teams in all leagues but ManU are just good enough to take advantage, as were Chelsea last year and the Arsenal invincibles. That's why they say winning the title requires luck - because the best teams just make the most of it.

  • Comment number 75.

    #1 – Hernandez – definitely the next Solksjaer
    Macheda – no has had his chances and not taken them

    #2 – why does everyone constantly whine about decisions sometimes United get them sometimes they son’t but it was a 50-50 shoulder challenge and Rafael did better

    #3 – Very good point

    #5 – Bale would be good but I think Fergie is chasing this Oxlade-Chamberlain lad. The new Paul Scholes was playing last night in a Tangerine shirt. I think Charlie Adam could well be on the way to Old Trafford in the summer

  • Comment number 76.

    68. At 09:51am on 26 Jan 2011, collie21 wrote:
    some of Roos lack of goals is down to not being played as an out and out striker. That role has been given to Berba this season
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm sorry...when did Dimitar Berbatov NOT play as a striker? You talk about it as if Ferguson is playing Berbatov somewhere where he shouldn't be. Well he always played as a striker for Leverkusen, Spurs and Man Utd unless I'm missing something.

    And Rooney had always been a second striker/wide man through his career apart from last season when Ferguson played with five in midfield and played him on his own up front in a lot of games.

  • Comment number 77.

    These referee decisions dont bother me. I dont know why it bothers other fans so much that they have a mental breakdown.

    All teams get decisions go their way and against them.

    The fact that its UTD or ARSENAL or CHELSEA or CITY, means it gets highlighted in the media more which then means you get the average division two fan and obviously rival fans coming on here spouting rubbish about that club who gets that decision.

    The fact that big teams's matches are televised more often than not also means they get more airtime than the so called little clubs who might get their own decisions go their way but nothing is said of it because why would the BBC publish a story about "West Brom getting a dodgy penalty" when they can publish a story about "Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal or City getting a dodgy penalty.

  • Comment number 78.

    Rooney is not scoring because Valencia is not playing. Simple as that!

    Fergie, put him in midfield. He's the best passer in the squad after Scholes and in a yard or two of space can hit the target from 20 yards, which Carrick, Ando and Fletcher can't.

  • Comment number 79.

    67. At 09:51am on 26 Jan 2011, kanchelskis_legend wrote:
    -------------------------------------------------

    Simply for the way he's gone about the handling of Charlie Adam transfer.

    He's put me right off.

    I bet even Charlie Adam finds him embarassing now.

    Why attack Villa and Houllier and call them disgraceful & disrespectful for doing things the right way and bidding for Adam?

    If he values Adam more than £10mil, fair enough. No need to insult other clubs and managers. Just simply say no and move on.

  • Comment number 80.

    I haven't seen anybody speak of the shoulder to shoulder challenge. For that is what the Da Silva / Varney incident was. Is this no longer legal in the game of football?

  • Comment number 81.

    Re the Raphael "penalty" incident: he played the man, not the ball, quite clearly and as such, quite clearly a penalty. As a Pool fan this isn't sour grapes. Man Utd never know when they're beaten and you have to give AF great credit for that. I think we'll survive. We need 4 more wins and I think we'll get them.UP THE POOL!

  • Comment number 82.

    Tell you something else, 2:O up and not getting a penalty, is not an excuse for losing the match. Or 2:0 and not having a penalty against you, is not reason for you to go on and win the match. United scored 3 goals, Blackpool scored 2 the game had everything. Ingrates!

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    Mr Chelsea

    Seen. I haven't really been watching the Adam mini-saga closely, so I dunno what he's been coming out with, but I'm sure you have a point.

    The thing with Holloway is he's just such a motormouth, and even if he's entertaining and correct 95% of the time, the 5% where he isn't still comes across strongly, simply because he loves to run his mouth so much.

    How you doing in fantasy this week?

  • Comment number 85.

    was it really a stonewall penalty. when 2 players run into each other in the penalty area why is it always the defender at fault. There is an argument that the forward runs straight into the defender to try to get the penalty, in which case it could just as easily be a foul on the defender. Although a great comeback United to have problems in midfield. gibson is just not good enough not even a squad player for me. fletcher has had a very average season and is giving the ball away too much - albeit he made the 1st goal - Anderson has been very good this year and carrick has improved, as for replacing giggs, with Valencia on his way back we could have him and nani playing wide. as for Rooney, when the whole saga was going on earlier on in the season i was convinced that he signed a new contract just so we can get a decent price for him at the end of the season. I don't think he would be a great loss - lets be honest as a goalscorer he's had one excellent season, last year other than that his goalscoring record is average at best. berba, Hernandez and hopefully welbeck and Macheda coming back i think we are well covered. Also don't woory too much about replacing scholes, cleverly - currently on loan at Wigan is having a great season and will be back with us next year. SAF knows what he's doing. I know we keep coming back and grinding out results, but it can't all be luck or refereeing decisions, its fitness, mental strength and playing until the final whistle and that has to be down to the management team at OT as this has been typical of United for 20 years. The players have come and go the Manager is still there.

  • Comment number 86.

    84. At 10:07am on 26 Jan 2011, kanchelskis_legend wrote:
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Lol. The one time I take out Chelsea players from my team and they go and score 4 goals. Apart from that i'm having a good week.

    Used my wildcard and got 130 something points. Still got players to play tonight! What about yourself?

  • Comment number 87.

    It was a penalty, a clear penalty, it was not shoulder to shoulder as some people seem to think.

    Giggs is clearly the best player ever to pull on a United shirt, i don't think anyone can doubt that, if anything he is getting more important to the team as he gets older.

    I think its a toss up between him and Bergkamp as to who is the greatest player ever to play in the premier league, but giggs might just win it on lengivity.

    Well done United, great come back again, another decision went for you, but you still had to get the goals and if anything when it 3-2 it looked they took the foot of the pedal and coasted home.

    The first half was shocking though.

    Sooner or later decisions will go against United, then we'll see how happy go lucky their fans and management are about decisions!! I'm guessing, not too happy.

    It's definitely Uniteds to throw away and its an inditement on the quality of the league when this United team are so far clear.

    They have the grit of other United teams, just not the flair.

  • Comment number 88.

    As a Chelsea fan, I was very much enjoying myself at around 9pm yesterday. Then, those pesky teams Arsenal and Man U started to show their superior quality. Boo hiss!

    Anyway, what does amuse me is that on 606 earlier in the evenings proceedings certain fans were up in arms and saying that Ferguson had lost it and that Arsenal were lacking any bite, as usual.

    Don't these fans realise that a game lasts 90 minutes?!

    Man U do seem to have got the bit between their teeth, regardless of the details of their performances this season, though I never saw Blackpool away as the banana skin that might end their unbeaten run.

    As for Rooney, I guess he is just being managed until someone comes up with an offer in the summer. Hernandez is much better at the moment so it's just a question of whether he is showing form or class.

    Arsenal, perhaps predictably, did over run Ipswich in the end and perhaps will get that elusive silverware this season. Still won't be enough for some of their detractors though.

    As for Holloway's comments on Adams, it seems to be that the only mistake, if that is what it is, is denying the transfer request. The rest of it is simply an issue of valuation.

  • Comment number 89.

    76. At 09:59am on 26 Jan 2011, Vox Populi wrote:

    68. At 09:51am on 26 Jan 2011, collie21 wrote:
    some of Roos lack of goals is down to not being played as an out and out striker. That role has been given to Berba this season
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm sorry...when did Dimitar Berbatov NOT play as a striker? You talk about it as if Ferguson is playing Berbatov somewhere where he shouldn't be. Well he always played as a striker for Leverkusen, Spurs and Man Utd unless I'm missing something.

    And Rooney had always been a second striker/wide man through his career apart from last season when Ferguson played with five in midfield and played him on his own up front in a lot of games.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Why do you do that? I didn't write he wasn't being played as a striker. I said he is playing where Ferguson played Rooney last season. Rooney was the number 1 last season with berba playing behind him as United play for the most part a 4 5 1 or 4 4 11 if you like. It's not so complicated.

    I am also delighted you never heard of Hernandez before the world cup, nice to know you can follow 32 teams with squads of 22 players meaning 640 footballers all around the world and there is only one you didn't hear of...

  • Comment number 90.

    At 10:05am on 26 Jan 2011, Thefootyoracle wrote:
    "Honestly, some of you bleat on about this United team like it's something special."
    --------------------------
    Been following this thread and can't recall anyone lauding the team. Maybe one or two individuals of the team.
    What we're bleating about is that we are top despite a non-league winning away record, playing average at best throughout most of this season.

  • Comment number 91.

    Penalty a huge talking point - and for me that was a spot-kick all day long. And yes, it could have been the moment the game got away from United so they were fortunate.

    The thing is, however, that once United scored one you could almost sense it around the ground that they were at least going to get a draw and probably win. It is an aura built up over many years of success.

    Blackpool on a poor run now but I thought they were magnificent for 70 minutes last night and Charlie Adam was the game's stand-out performer for the first hour. The problems came for Blackpool when he was subdued. Is this why Blackpool worry so much about his potential exit?

    Blackpool fans. Would you be able to recover from his sale if it happened?

    United fans. Let me hear your thoughts on Wayne Rooney. Is the time coming for Ferguson to take him out of the action? I would be very reluctant to do that. Is it a possibility and can United cope without him? They did in those last 18 minutes last night.

  • Comment number 92.


    Nani not sent off against A Villa for deliberate elbow
    Everton prevented from scoring a winner in injury time by ref blowing at least a minute too early.
    farcical goal by Nani allowed against Spurs.
    Joke pen against Arsenal for handball when the ball rolled against Clichys arm when he was on the ground leaning on it.
    Fulham away - joke pen and Fulham goal disallowed for nothing

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    It was about as deliberate as Charlie Adam's last night, so he should have been sent off as well yes?
    Everton weren't prevented from scoring a winner due to the ref, Jagielka missed anyway.
    We'd have beaten Spurs 1-0 anyway without Nani's goal.
    Rooney missed the penalty against Arsenal so why does that matter. Plus it was handball.
    We didn't get a penalty against Fulham so that's just complete rubbish.

    If you're going to criticise United, at least get your facts right. Otherwise you make yourself look like a very jealous and bitter baby.

  • Comment number 93.

    What we're bleating about is that we are top despite a non-league winning away record, playing average at best throughout most of this season.

    ==

    Clearly United have been playing better than average if they are undefeated at the end of January, clear at the top. Might not have been pretty to watch at times, but the attitude to keep on going out and getting points is something beyond every other club in the league this season.

    I don't know who to laugh at more, the people who cry about the refs favouring United, or the united fans who have spent all season moaning trying to save face.

  • Comment number 94.

    I agree and disagree with this...

    Firstly yes.. Fergie was the master at deciding for Hernandez to replace a lost Rooney and Giggs was influentual yet who put the team out in the first half.

    United's away form is poor mainly due to the players that play and the positions they take up. For example against Birmingham away.. United put 4 central midfielders along the lines and Rooney and Berba up front. There was no real creativity or pace and United were lucky to even get that draw.

    But after a 5-0 win against a poor Birmingham where Manchester United had width, pace, and attacking prowess.. against Blackpool they really didn't.

    Rooney can play left wing, but only in emergencies. Blackpool were always going to come at United, so why play 2 attacking midfielders in the 4-5-1 formation?

    And after conceding the 2 goals before half time, Fergie sends Rooney back up front, but instead of sending Nani over to the left, and Fletcher on the right (which he can play) he sent Gibson over to the left instead.

    So United's formation was not only reshuffled, but reshuffled badly.

    As soon as Giggs came on in the 2nd half United were a different team. Now width, and speed in Nani and Giggs and more space for Scholes to work his magic.

    Rooney was a bit lost still which is why Fergie replaced him, but to be honest. Rooney covered the left wing for most of the first half, and even covered the entire left side of the pitch whilst Evra received treatment so was probably nackered anyway.

    Hernandez is something to behold, definately the extra bit of attacking talent United needed last season that would have probably allowed us to beat Munich and Chelsea and this season I think United look set to go far in all competitions they're in.

  • Comment number 95.

    All these calls of bribery are starting to get very annoying. As mentioned by a few people already these things have a habit of evening themselves out and utd have had a few decisions against us already this season which we havent complained about and just accepted so im going to focus on last nights game.

    Full credit to Holloway and Blackpool, they are fearless and have decent quality in their side. they gave us a real scare and i hope they stay up this season.
    As for utd i never once doubted we wouldnt win this game, as my £5 bet on 9/2 utd win at half time proves. We never give up and we dont get the credit we deserve for that.

    Dont know what is going on with Rooney, he seems a shadow of himself from last season. he cant even do a simple thing like control the ball and pass it off. I think its time for Hernandez to be given a few starts and see what comes of that, id play Rooney against the saints saturday simply because he needs games. Giggs changed the game at HT, how he is still going at the level he is is amazing. Him and scholesy need to be replaced more than anyone we've ever replaced within the next 18 months.

    And lastly my man berba, this guy is just different class at the moment. His touch, awareness and link up is out of this world, and hes finally bagging the goals to go with it.

  • Comment number 96.

    As a neutral I totally enjoyed the game and although Blackpool were unlucky It was frightening to watch ManU when they got up a head of steam and after the first goal I could see only one winner

    However I was disapointed by the state of the pitch which caused the ball not to run true and although this added to the excitement you expect premier league pitches to be better

  • Comment number 97.

    Mr Chelsea,

    Not bad! Yeh, I did my Jan wildcard too. I'm on 89 at the moment, with Kelly and Dempsey still to play. I think I could be top of my mates league by this time tomorrow.



    We all follow United,

    We did get a penalty against Fulham. Nani missed it.

  • Comment number 98.

    it must only be when there's a decision that goes in uniteds favour that half these people actually bother to watch the highlights.

    i mean they never bring up all the incidents that have gone against united in recent years, so clearly they dont watch the games.

    as post 36 points out, there are plenty of decisions that have gone against united to choose from.

    the people on here moaning clearly arent arent united fans so probably watched their own team play and not the united game. but when they hear there was a dodgey decision they decide to watch the highlights so they can have a moan.

    yeah it was a penalty to blackpool, no problem admitting that. both the corners they scored from were taken form the wrong place, plus vida got hauled down in their box - ref's make mistakes !

  • Comment number 99.

    Good win for United and very decisive as it opens up a 5 point lead over Arsenal, 6 points over City with a game still in hand.
    However, my issue is the lack of consistency in the midfield selection and changing the team for the sake of it. It is clear for any United fan to see that Anderson and Giggs are Uniteds form players so why are they on the bench when the out of form Fletcher and not up to scratch Gibson are starting ahead of them. This especially after the upcoming FA Cup game against Southampton. Time and Time again, their midfield just ran through ours in the first half and this has been evident in many of the away games this year. Rio is sorely missed in Uniteds defence and his reading of the game is second to none.
    Giggs added balance on the left and it is clear for anyone to see that Rooney is not the same player he was last year and is massively out of form regardless of what analysis the MOTD team try to do. Rooney looks laboured, devoid of showing any confidence in takeing anyone on and is missing that spring in his step. Hernandez looked fresh, sharp and pacy and deserves a run in the team. I seen him trap the ball majestically and fire the ball past Kingson, and can only wander of a bobble off Rooneys shin if he was presented with the same opportunity. The game has gone mad when a player after one decent season starts making demands on the greatest Manager in the world. Can United now demand Rooney take a wage cut after underperforming this year? For me the man has disrespected the greatest club, fans and Manager in the world and for that he needs to be moved on.
    On a positive note, great result for United and we can now move to claim number 19!

  • Comment number 100.

    I didn't see the game, but it made for good reading with the morning coffee!

    One thing I disagree with is the talk of Fergie's 'bold' decision to take off Rooney for Hernandez - which is meant to have been a masterstroke.

    To take off a player with one goal from open play and replace him with one that seems to score every time he comes off the bench and has nine (?) or so goals is hardly a risk or a stroke of managerial genius.

    As much as I loved Solskjaer, I would rather have a player that starts most games and scores 25 goals for the season, than one that comes off the bench to grab 12 or 15. I'm sure Hernandez feels the same way.

    If Rooney is not producing, and Hernandez is, give the Mexican a chance. Ok so Fergie may be trying to nurture him in slowly, but his form can't just be ignored...interesting to see what happens next season if Rooney continues to struggle for goals.

 

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